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News Articles: Material in Pritchard garage could produce several kilograms of crystal meth
Enforcement Kamloops area - There was enough raw materials in a Pritchard man's garage to make several kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, a B.C. Supreme Court judge was told Tuesday.

Ivan Georgiev, 39, is charged with several offences, including production of a controlled substance and possession of crystal meth for the purpose of trafficking. The federal Crown alleges he converted his Warren Road garage into a clandestine drug lab, where he cooked up large quantities of the illegal drug.

The lab was found after police raided the rural property in June 2009 following several weeks of surveillance. Health Canada chemist Sarita Jazwal told the court she found enough raw materials, including ephedrine, red phosphorous and hydriodic acid, to produce roughly 11 kilograms of crystal meth.

The man was jailed last year for three years on top of eight months he had served since his arrest after he pleaded guilty to weapons offences stemming from the same search that revealed the drug lab. The guns were found after police executed search warrants at Georgiev’s Pritchard property in 2010.

Officers found 28 firearms throughout the house. Many of them were loaded, with rounds in the chamber, ready to fire. Some of the weapons were prohibited and cannot be legally owned in Canada. Georgiev was prohibited from possessing firearms at the time. He was banned after he was convicted of production of marijuana in 2001.

The drug charges stem from the same search, but were not sworn until after Georgiev pleaded guilty and was sentenced on the firearms offences. In court, Jazwal told the judge how she inspected the lab shortly after the police raid in June 2009. Health Canada is often called upon to give advice about illegal drug labs when they are found, she said.

Of great concern is the potential danger they pose to officers and others who may be required to dismantle and process them. There are numerous dangerous chemicals involved in the manufacture of crystal meth, some of which are extremely flammable or dangerous to human health. Crystal meth is made by combining ephedrine, red phosphorous and hydriodic acid, then processing the chemicals through a series of steps involving heat, filtration and solvents.

She said the process is not particularly difficult and recipes can be commonly found on the Internet. The process can be dangerous, however. If the initial chemical process boils dry, for example, it produces phosphine gas, an extremely toxic nerve gas. “It can be (dangerous) if you do not know what you are doing,” she said.

Jazwal said her inspection of the lab at Georgiev’s property showed signs the lab had produced several batches of crystal meth. The trial before Justice Richard Blair continues Wednesday. Georgiev's trial is scheduled to last two weeks.


 
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