News

Missing West Kelowna man's brother found dead

Members of the RCMP
Members of the RCMP's clandestine lab team were on scene at 401 West Innes, Nelson, on Sunday morning cleaning up the scene where police continue their investigation into the sudden death of a 33-year-old man.
— image credit: Bob Hall

Police are investigating the sudden death of Andrew John Meisner, 33, the brother of a West Kelowna man who was declared dead after going missing, allegedly in relation to drug and organized crime connections.

Andrew John is the younger brother of Geoff Meisner, and appears to have been similarly engaged with drugs. He was found Friday in a Nelson home allegedly being used as a drug lab.

Kelowna Capital News sister paper The Nelson Star has learned RCMP investigators nevertheless do not believe he met with foul play, nor a toxic chemical reaction.

"There was a clandestine lab in operation in the home that appears to have been manufacturing prescription and/or restricted drugs," Nelson police Sgt. Janet Scott-Pryke said in the statement that added dangerous or noxious chemicals were not located or recovered in the home.

The investigation into Geoff Meisner's death revealed he was heavily involved in drugs and connected to  organized crime via the Hells Angels and Kingpin Crew.

RCMP also connected him to Brittney Irving early on in their investigation, saying Meisner and the young woman were known to one another. She too was linked to drugs and organized crime and went missing five months after Meisner disappeared from Orchard Park Mall.

She was found dead off a Philpott Road, a dirt road off Highway 33 en route to Joe Rich, and was last seen at drug deal. Her alleged killer, Joelon David Atish Verma, is alleged to have Hells Angels connections and is to be tried for the crime in a Kelowna court room this September.

Andrew John is said to have lived alone in the split-level, three-bedroom home with two pit bulls and had been in the home since last March, telling his landlords he had a contracting business.

His body was discovered by friends on Friday after they failed to reach him and went to search for him at the house. It is believed he died the previous day.

After consulting the RCMP and Nelson Fire Department, RCMP determined there was no  immediate danger to the public from the lab, but asked residents in the area to leave to protect the integrity of the investigation. The RCMP's clandestine lab team was subsequently called in from Surrey.

Meisner's landlord told the Star he was a good tenant who paid his rent early. They haven't been allowed into the home yet to assess the damage.

His dogs are believed to have been taken to a local boarding kennel and his parents are believed to be en route from New Brunswick.

The Meisners' father, Gord, is a former RCMP officer who retired from working in the Nelson area. Both brothers were 33 at the time of their death.

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