(Photo by RCMP)

More information has come to light regarding a drug trafficking investigation that led to the arrest of three people, and the discovery of a clandestine drug lab in a Nanaimo residence.

Warrants executed by the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime division in Nanaimo on February 4th uncovered the existence of a drug lab at a residential property in the 3900-block of Hammond Bay Road.

In an update on Thursday,  Sgt. Warren Krahenbil stated that these warrants were the result of a year-long investigation into into dark web drug trafficking that started in January 2019.

See also: Federal RCMP agents uncover clandestine drug lab in Nanaimo after year-long investigation

The investigation, titled project EPateriform, targeted a prolific dark web vendor known as ‘AlwaysOvrWeight’ who used bitcoin exchanges and encrypted communications to traffic drugs online as bcpremo88.

Over the course of a year, officers gathered evidence to confirm that ‘AlwaysOvrWeight’ was facilitating the online sale and shipment of a wide variety of drugs including cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, GHB, psilocybin (mushrooms), ketamine and fentanyl to Canadians.

After working to find the identity of the person or people using that moniker, RCMP executed a search warrant at a residence on Hammond Bay Road and uncovered a GHB processing lab along with evidence of drug packaging and trafficking.

That same day, federal investigators executed a second search warrant at a residence in the 6100-block of Kiara Place where they also found evidence of drug trafficking using the dark web. Three Nanaimo residents were also arrested.

“Our determined investigators used ingenuity and innovative techniques to remove the anonymity of the internet from online drug traffickers,” said Inspector Tim Arseneault.

The RCMP Serious and Organized Crime unit and Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response Team are both based in the lower mainland. Members of both teams travelled to Vancouver Island to execute these warrants and carry out their investigation with the assistance of Nanaimo RCMP.

The investigation is ongoing and no charges have been laid at this time.

In their statement, RCMP FSOC thanked Canada Post, and officers from the Nanaimo and Powell River RCMP detachments for their co-operation and support.