5 suspects charged, $1M in street drugs seized in Delta police operation

Five suspects are facing 47 charges related to a large-scale police investigation in Delta, B.C.

Delta police said it all began with a small investigation looking into fraud related to fuel purchases.

The investigation quickly grew as it involved organized crime, illicit drugs and weapons.

In February 2023, Delta police learned of the fuel fraud scheme where fraudulent cardlock cards were being created and used. Dozens of fraudulent transactions were reported, with a value greater than $25,000.

That was when police identified an organized criminal group was involved in the fraud scheme.

A search warrant was carried out in April 2023, at a property on 104 Street in Delta.

During the search warrant, police discovered loaded restricted and prohibited guns, a fully-operational drug lab and an illegal cannabis grow operation.

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“As a result, $1,000,000 street value drugs were seized along with vehicles associated (with) organized crime,” Delta police staff said in a release.

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“At the time of warrant execution, one man was arrested on an outstanding Canada-wide warrant.  Two vehicles have since been subject to civil forfeiture proceedings, while other civil forfeiture processes are still in progress.”

On April 22, 2024, the Public Prosecution Service Canada approved 43 charges against Robert Johan Simonsen, Richard Stephen Voszler, Robert Joseph Stephen Lavalee, Robert Sean Rylands, and Norman Sterner.

Charges range from fraud to gun-related offences and drug trafficking.

Two of the five suspects charged have been arrested, while the remaining three accused are currently wanted on unendorsed warrants.

Delta police did not say which suspects are still at large.

“When we commence an investigation, we follow the evidence, and we don’t necessarily know where a specific file is going to go,” Delta Chief Neil Dubord said.

“Our Crime Reduction Unit showed commitment and follow-through on a complex investigation, with a complex disclosure package.”

The police department said it’s recommending to the prosecution service a total of 73 charges for nine suspects.


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