The last two suspects in what police say is one of B.C.’s largest drug super-labs have been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Robyn Leigh Bryson, 38, and Trent Anton Fussi, 33, were both convicted on two counts under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) on Aug. 14, totalling 11 years in prison each for the production of fentanyl and methamphetamine. Bryson and Fussi were the “cooks” of one of the largest drug labs the province has seen, which RCMP say they discovered in the small community of Lumby in 2018.
The two also each received a 10-year firearm ban and DNA orders.
The launch into the criminal network started in 2018 by the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime (FSOC) unit. Because of the complexity of the case, RCMP deployed local teams from Kelowna and Osoyoos, its border security unit, a federal major projects team and the Clandestine Laboratories Enforcement and Response team, which targets crime groups involved in drug production.
In the initial stages of the investigation, the RCMP executed several search warrants and uncovered the large-scale ephedrine extraction and methamphetamine and fentanyl production lab in Lumby, located about an hour’s drive northeast of Kelowna. In addition to Bryson and Fussi, there were four other suspects: Michael McMorris, Tyson Kopp, Michael Piggott and Michael Harvey.
Because of the size of the lab, the RCMP took immediate action and arrested Fussi, Kopp, Harvey, Piggott and later Bryson.
After a CDSA search, that concluded on Oct. 18, 2018, the following was discovered in the lab:
- Approximately 48 kilograms of ephedrine HCl
- 50 kilograms of solutions containing ephedrine HCl
- 4.5 kilograms of methamphetamine HCl
- 556 litres of solutions containing methamphetamine
- 10 kilograms of 4-anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine (ANPP)
- 2.95 kilograms of nandrolone phenylpropionate (NPP)
- 660 grams of fentanyl
- 124.7 litres of solutions containing both fentanyl and ANPP
During the sentencing, it was determined that once cut and mixed, the approximate street value of the fentanyl was $256 million while the street value of the seized methamphetamine was estimated at $2.2 million.
At the time when the lab was discovered, because of the health risk to local Lumby residents and the environment, a major containment and clean up effort took place. The search, dismantling and clean up of the lab, including the disposal of hazardous waste materials, took 12 days and cost $370,000.
“With toxic fentanyl being increasingly mixed in with other types of street drugs, the opioid crisis seems to be evolving into a poly-drug crisis,” said BC RCMP FSOC Supt. Jillian Wellard in a statement.
Kopp, Harvey, Piggott, and McMorris were also convicted but their sentences are unknown at this time.