Apartment maintenance leads Edmonton police to suspected drug lab

A maintenance worker led police to a suspected drug lab in north Edmonton.

On March 10, the worker went into an apartment suite at 96 Street and 129B Avenue to update appliances. The worker noticed there was no furniture and that a white powder covered kitchen surfaces.

Police said the worker also discovered a bag with several bundles of white powder wrapped in plastic.

Police executed a search warrant and found 6.5 kilograms of cocaine and equipment associated with making crack cocaine.

The street value of the drug is estimated at approximately $650,000.

EPS Const. Justin Marleau said the apartment was not on police radar and is proof clandestine labs can be set up anywhere.

“These labs can be very dangerous due to their potential to attract crime, emit toxic fumes and cause fires and explosions,” said Marleau.

Police have asked all landlords and property managers to look for signs of a possible drug lab.

Signs of a clandestine drug lab can include:

  • Odd chemical odours
  • The presence of unusual amounts of solvents (such as camping fuel), acetone, or oxidizers (such as highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide)
  • Batteries that have been opened up
  • Red or purple stains on surfaces

Police said renters wanting to pay rent in cash for months in advance is also a possible red flag and they’re urging new tenants be given a background check.

The investigation is still ongoing and charges have not been laid.

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