Pubdate: Tue, 29 Jul 2008
Source: Langley Advance (CN BC)
Copyright: 2008 Lower Mainland Publishing Group Inc.
Author: Matthew Claxton
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine - Canada)


The Township Wants Its Costs Paid After A Clean Up.

The owner of a house that concealed a methamphetamine lab are being 
asked to pay for the cost of cleaning out the building.

Langley Township has sent a demand letter to the owner of a house in 
Brookswood, asking for $60,000 to $65,000 in costs.

The Township had to clean up the building just to make it safe in the 
wake of a raid by RCMP in October last year. The money represents 
that work and the cost of inspection visits, said Township 
administrator Mark Bakken.

Police followed a suspected car thief to the home in the 2700-block 
of 202nd Street, and stumbled on the meth lab when they entered the building.

Methamphetamine was being made on the kitchen stove, and rifles, 
pistols, a sawed-off shotgun, and electric-stun brass knuckles were 
seized. The property also contained stolen cars, and a diamond ring 
boosted earlier that day was found in the house. Several pounds of 
meth were found in a freezer.

Of the six occupants of the building, most were later released without charges.

The police who followed the stolen car onto the site began searching 
because they feared for their own safety. Although they had cause to 
be worried - the guns were loaded - their search was done without a 
warrant. Therefore, most of the evidence was not admissible in court. 
A suspected car thief was charged.

Since then, the Township has been cleaning up the property. It took 
crews hours at the time to search and scour the site, and that wasn't 
cheap, he said.

Bakken said this is far from the first time the municipality has 
demanded money from a property owner for a drug-bust-related cleanup.

The Township's safety inspection teams are currently on hold, but 
they used municipal bylaws to crack down on suspected marijuana grow houses.

The municipality also recovered part of the cost of filling in the 
drug-smuggling tunnel under the Canada-U.S. border, discovered in 2005.

It cost $30,000 to inject concrete into the tunnel, to seal it off 
and to prevent it collapsing and causing disruptions above.
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