09/05/2013 11:33 EDT | Updated 11/05/2013 05:12 EST

$40M Meth Lab Bust One Of Largest In Ontario's History

Drugs with a street value of $40 million were seized in what police say is one of largest methamphetamine seizures in Ontario's history

At a news conference Thursday, police said they seized raw methamphetamine and the chemicals used to make the drug in five separate labs — two in Toronto and three in the nearby Peterborough area.

The arrests came in July after a months-long investigation involving multiple police forces and spearheaded by the OPP's Asian Organized Crime Task Force.

One lab, located about 180 kilometres east of Toronto in Campbellford, Ont., was guarded by a bear trap hidden beneath a pile of leaves, according to police. Police say another lab located in nearby Warkworth, Ont., and used to produce raw meth, was one of the largest ever discovered in the province.

Another pill-pressing lab was found north of Toronto in Auroraand chemicals used to make meth were found in a storage locker in Markham, Ont., just north of Toronto.

In total, police seized:

- 120 kilograms of pure methamphetamine, enough to make four million pills.

- 110,483 meth pills.

- 14 kilograms of meth powder, ready to be pressed into pills.

- Five vehicles.

- $81,000 in cash.

Five people face multiple charges, including drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance.

Police said the meth pills were most likely destined for outside the country.

The drug labs were operating inside homes and businesses, unknown to neighbours nearby.

"Clandestine drug labs can be found anywhere, both urban and rural areas are not immune,” said Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong of the OPP’s organized crime enforcement bureau.

Police said the production of one kilogram of methamphetamine can create six kilograms of toxic chemical waste, which police say is often carelessly dumped in wooded areas and waterways.

The five accused are due to appear in court in Oshawa, Ont., on Monday.

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