A West Kelowna man who pleaded guilty for his role in what police once described as a fentanyl-lacing operation has been put on the Crime Stoppers Most Wanted list just days before his long awaited sentencing.
Leslie John McCulloch, 40, entered the guilty plea in 2017 to possession for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance and was granted bail . In the months that followed, he tried to withdraw that plea, but failed in that effort. He was scheduled for a court appearance Jan. 22 in advance of his Jan. 28 sentencing but didn’t appear.
In the meantime, a B.C. wide warrant of arrest went in to effect Jan. 22.
In March 2016, police raided a warehouse in McCulloch’s name as well as his home, which was in the 700-block of Petterson Road.
The warehouse, which was listed as Kandy and Krome Customs, on the 2600-block of Auburn Crescent yielded 500 fake Percocet and OxyContin pills, 195 grams of suspected Fentanyl, two industrial pill presses capable of making 2,500 pills per hour and a chemical mixer that showed signs of use. There was also eight kg of suspected Fentanyl powder recovered from a shop vacuum believed to be used to clean up after pill production.
“Police estimate that this operation has potentially produced hundreds of thousands of pills, likely distributed locally and possibly beyond,” said Sgt. Alex Lynch of the Kelowna RCMP SEU, at the time.
In the Interior Health Authority region, there have been 157 fentanyl-detected deaths so far this year, a drop from the record-high 207 in 2017.
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