Destruction order sought for chemical evidence taken from alleged Whistler meth lab 

Man arrested in 2011 due to face trial in 2014

click to enlarge n-crystal_meth_lab_evidenceweb.jpg

The federal government has applied for an order to destroy evidence taken from a suspected crystal meth lab in Whistler.

The case, from Nov. 23, 2011, involves evidence seized after Whistler RCMP arrested Ethan Howe Jennings, then 33, and executed a search warrant at a condo on 6117 Eagle Drive.

There, police found jars filled with unknown liquids, chemicals in plastic containers, and flasks and funnels. They also found a large quantity of what was believed to be cocaine, as well as psilocybins (magic mushrooms), marijuana and hashish.

Sgt. Rob Knapton of Whistler RCMP said Jennings is due to go on trial in Vancouver in January 2014.

He added it was common procedure for evidence to be destroyed if not immediately need for trial and deemed, like the chemicals, to be unstable.

“He faced six charges at the time... Once we seized equipment we get a management order issued and it requires the (federal agency) Seized Property Management Directorate (SPMD) to take control of it until we can destroy it. That’s why the application was made, because the matter hasn’t gone to court,” Knapton said.

At the time, police also found an unregistered and improperly stored 12-gauge shotgun and what was believed to be a pipe bomb.

The RCMP bomb squad and chemical lab was called in to assist in the investigation.

According to a Pique report at the time: “The RCMP observed a male exit a taxi in Lot A, and watched him approach a known drug dealer who was standing with a third male. They entered an elevator, where the police believe a drug deal took place. They arrested the buyer, finding him in possession of a gram of what is believed to be cocaine, and arrested the seller on another floor.”

Jennings first appeared in court in connection with the case on Nov. 29 and Dec. 8, 2011. Charges included two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking for the cocaine and psilocybin, possession of marijuana, possession of hash, possessing a firearm without a licence and improper storage of a firearm. The allegations have not been proven in court.

A spokesman for Public Works and Government Services Canada said in an email that in terms of the items to be disposed of, the chemicals used to make the illegal drugs, “the cost of storing the chemicals until the end of the criminal court proceedings is prohibitive.”

The destruction order by SPMD takes control of, manages or otherwise deals with the seized items that would not impact any trial, the spokesman added.

- With files by Andrew Mitchell



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