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B.C. drug trafficker caught with 23kg of fentanyl faces forfeiture of $365K

Vancouver police officers seized fentanyl, meth and cocaine and drug production paraphernalia from a Richmond home allegedly linked to a convicted drug trafficker
This home in a quiet Richmond neighbourhood had police descend upon it on March 21, 2023 and seize drugs and drug production equipment

Provincial authorities have filed a civil claim against a convicted drug trafficker, seeking forfeiture of over $365,000 cash seized from his home, his Tesla vehicle and the home of his alleged associates.

On March 21, 2023, Vancouver police officers entered a single-family home in Richmond and, a day later, a condo in Downtown Vancouver, belonging to convicted trafficker James Thomas Howard Conrad, where they seized just over 23.5 kilograms of fentanyl products. The fentanyl was bundled in a manner consistent with drug trafficking, according to the claim filed by the B.C. Director of Civil Forfeiture on August 16.

This is the fifth forfeiture claim against Conrad, court records show.

Officers seized close to $2,000 from Conrad’s wallet and about $275,000 from Conrad’s condo at 1499 West Pender Street. Another $47,800 was seized from Conrad’s 2022 Tesla and about $40,000 was found at a single-family home at 10335 McLeod Avenue, in Richmond. The cash seizures totalled $365,247.55.

“The Money was bundled or packaged in a manner not consistent with standard banking practices,” the claim notes.

Conrad was also in possession of 15.48 kilograms of fentanyl and the condo contained 6.2 kilograms of fentanyl. More fentanyl was found in the Richmond home, along with 1.2 kilograms of methamphetamine and a small amount of cocaine.

Also found inside Conrad’s Tesla was another two kilograms of fentanyl and a taser baton, the claim stated.

Other things seized from the Richmond home included: a rotary evaporator, a drying oven, a press, laboratory glassware, mixing bowls containing drug residue, an air-purifying respirator mask, as well as chemical formulas and drawings.

Named as co-defendants are Liam John Travers MacRae and Erin Forest Fine Day, whose occupations are unknown to the director, but has a last known address at the Richmond home.

As a result of the seizures, the director claims the money is considered “proceeds [of crime] and an instrument of unlawful activity.”

The online court registry does not show any criminal charges against the defendants as a result of the police investigation. But the B.C. Director of Civil Forfeiture says “J. Conrad has several convictions for trafficking in a controlled substance.”

The civil proceedings are separate from any criminal proceedings. The B.C. Director of Civil Forfeiture only needs to prove on a balance of probabilities that the money derives from criminal activity in order to seize it.

As of Aug. 25, the defendants had not filed a response to the claim.