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RCMP uncover drug lab materials in Function



The RCMP came out with their hands full last week after swarming a parked truck in the north end of Function Junction.

Whistler resident Michael David Novotny, 33, was already in police custody during the search after an altercation with girlfriend. On suspicion that a five-tonne truck outside his apartment contained a drug lab the RCMP obtained a warrant and attended the scene with the support of emergency personnel.

Based on their search, Novotny is facing charges of producing a substance contrary to Section 7 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and will be making his first appearance in North Vancouver Provincial Court on June 30.

Police and emergency services descended on the property at about 11 a.m. on June 2. They executed a search warrant as part of an ongoing investigation into a suspected drug manufacturing lab located in the cargo section of a parked panel truck.

The truck was parked on the east side of the building beside railroad tracks. RCMP, along with the Hazardous Materials Unit discovered a truck that had "not been operated in quite some time." Personal items were piled up in the cab and a headlight was missing.

Inside the cargo section of the truck they found a number of tools and "drug-related materials" that they believe have been used in the manufacturing of drugs. They included "multiple containers" with marijuana residue; food processors and other mixing equipment; electric hot plates covered with marijuana residue; and a sewing machine that had been turned into a mixer.

The RCMP said in a news release that the "results of the search have thus far supported the ongoing investigation." They said on the day of the search that they were seeking out a suspected lab that had been used for production of hashish.

Witnesses at the scene said police had been watching the building since 8 a.m. the day before. All were tenants in suites on the top floor of the building and they said a male and female resident, presumably significant others, had been in a heated argument some days before and police were called to attend to a domestic disturbance.

The male was arrested but the female resident later returned, appearing to pack up her belongings and move out.

Novotny appears to be well-known to police. Records obtained from Court Services Online indicate he has already faced numerous charges including possession of stolen property valued at under $5,000, which dates from 2007. He has also been charged with theft of property over $5,000 and a Breach of Probation Order that dates from 2003.

Novotny's truck is still parked at the side of the building.



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