Two Edmonton men face charges after an investigation led police to the largest cocaine seizure in the history of the force.
Jesse James Langevin, 27, of Edmonton, and 42-year-old Vincent Louie of Vancouver have been charged after the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement (EDGE) made the bust of 28 kilograms of cocaine, valued at over $2.5 million.
The two-month investigation came to an end last Friday after police discovered a cocaine conversion laboratory during a search of an apartment near 146 Avenue and 50 Street, in the city's north-end.
They found the large stash of cocaine as well as 10.5 kg of a chemical agent used in the cocaine base conversion process valued at $52,000 and more than $265,000 in cash, police said in a press release.
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After searching a vehicle that belonged to one of the accused, police found an additional $12,000 and 0.2 grams of heroin in a hidden compartment.
Sgt. Carlos Cardoso told reporters at a news conference Thursday there would have been nothing to indicate to neighbours there was a drug lab in the apartment complex.
“Unless you paid attention to that suite specifically there would be no indication to you whatsoever,” the Edmonton Journal reports Cardoso as saying.
“There is an odour but it’s not equal to a marijuana grow operation, where you’d smell it.”
However, despite its size, the bust was not surprising to officers - they were expecting to find a "significant" amount, reports the Calgary Sun.
Cardoso told the Sun the drugs were likely headed to street-level dealers.
"This seizure will definitely have a significant impact within the drug trade in Edmonton,” he said, adding that cocaine remains at the top of the list for trafficking in Edmonton and that the city acts as a pipeline to the east for the cocaine trade.
The accused are each charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and cocaine conversion.
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