A 49-year-old Kamloops man with no prior criminal record was sentenced Friday to three years in a federal prison for his role in the 2015 bust of a so-called crystal meth superlab — described by police at the time as the largest in Kamloops’ history.
Ikbal Shah was found guilty of possessing fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine for the purpose of trafficking following a B.C. Supreme Court trial earlier this year. He was one of a number of men arrested in connection with a meth lab uncovered by police in June 2015 at a home on Pratt Road in Barnhartvale.
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Shah’s home was searched in connection with the investigation. In it, police found drugs hidden inside a safe in a kitchen cupboard — 762 fentanyl pills, 276 grams of meth, 560 grams of cocaine and 42 grams of heroin, worth a total of about $48,000.
Shah claimed the drugs belonged to a houseguest, but B.C. Supreme Court Justice Lisa Warren didn’t believe his testimony.
The judge said there was too much evidence pointing to Shah’s involvement — including “drug jargon” in his handwriting on scoresheets and his “inexplicable” behaviour, including driving a friend to Langley without asking about the nature of the trip.
“Given the large amount of potentially dangerous drugs found here, any degree of involvement attracts a high level of moral culpability,” Warren said in sentencing Shah on Friday.
Warren described Shah as a “mid-level” drug trafficker and pointed to the sophistication of the operation as another aggravating factor.
Another man, Joel Garrett, was convicted alongside Shah in July. Garrett was found guilty of production of a controlled substance. He was the owner of the Pratt Road home in which the meth lab was located.
Garrett has a sentencing hearing scheduled to take place early next year.
A third man, Derek Sadden, was sentenced earlier this year to three years in prison after pleading guilty to one count each of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
In court, Sadden was described as the cook of the meth lab.
In addition to the prison sentence, Shah will be barred from possessing firearms for 10 years and was ordered to submit a sample of his DNA to a national criminal database.