A West Kelowna man pleaded guilty Wednesday to possession for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance, for his role in what police have described as a fentanyl-lacing operation.
Leslie John McCulloch, 39, entered the plea and was granted bail. He will be back in court April 27, once a pre-sentencing report is completed.
Last March, 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 Cresent 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 NCO/ic of the Kelowna RCMP SEU, at the time.
Also arrested was Rebekka Rae White, 28, who was originally charged with production and possession of a controlled substance.
Fentanyl hit the Central Okanagan particularly hard in the last year. There were 48 deaths throughout 2016 and eight more in January.
A state of emergency related to drug overdose deaths was announced last spring.