The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team, or ALERT, has shown off some of the spoil collected after raids in July, including one near Aldersyde.
"Project Essence" covered all aspects of fentanyl production, from importation to accumulation and stockpiling of equipment and raw chemicals, to production and eventual distribution.
The fentanyl and chemical precursors seized had the capacity to produce hundreds of millions of doses, according to ALERT and Health Canada estimates.
ALERT believes the "superlab" near Aldersyde was capable of producing as much as 10 kilograms of fentanyl every week.
One kilogram of pure fentanyl is equal to one million doses, and a lethal dose is considered to be 2 milligrams.
That's a street value of over $300 million and includes:
13.6 kilograms of fentanyl;
11.9 kilograms of the fentanyl late-stage precursors 4-ANPP;
6.6 kilograms of synthetic opioids;
9.9 kilograms of methamphetamine;
50 litres of gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid;
3.5 kilograms of buffing agents; and
7,600 kilograms of chemicals.
ALERT is awaiting a complete Health Canada laboratory analysis of the fentanyl and chemicals seized.
However, preliminary testing shows that amongst substances located was the fentanyl late-stage precursor 4-ANPP and the synthetic opioid isotonitazene, which reportedly has a much higher potency than fentanyl.
ALERT also seized 18 handguns, one rifle, $25,000 in cash as well as jewelry, six vehicles, four motorcycles, three trailers, and a boat.
They were seized as proceeds of crime.
A number of suspects have been identified and charges are pending.
"Project Essence" began in February 2021 when ALERT received information of attempts to import a 563-kilogram shipment of a chemical used in fentanyl production.
During the investigation, ALERT relied on the expertise and assistance of a number of specialized agencies, including Edmonton Police, Calgary Police, RCMP, Health Canada, Alberta Health Services, CBSA, Okotoks Fire Department, Foothill County Fire Department, British Columbia Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, and Alberta Environment.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.