On June 23, 2016, a fire in a garage-style building led police to what was allegedly a clandestine drug lab. (Langley Advance Times files)

Province wants to seize Langley property connected to drug lab

The Office of Civil Forfeiture is targeting a property on Fraser Highway

The B.C. government has gone to court to seize a Langley property allegedly used as a clandestine drug lab.

On June 23, 2016, firefighters rushed to a building in the 23000 block of Fraser Highway where smoke was billowing from a building near the roadway.

Firefighters said they had found a marijuana grow operation inside – the site was registered for a 30-plant medical grow license – and a number of butane cylinders.

Now a lawsuit from the B.C. Office of Civil Forfeiture suggests there was a clandestine lab for making butane honey/hash oil at the site.

Langley RCMP returned the day after the fire with a search warrant, and found 2,678 grams of butane honey oil, 4,650 millilitres of cannabis weed oil in pre-filled package syringes, 505 grams of marijuana resin known as “shatter”, and 41 kilograms of marijuana, 10 100-pound butane canisters, and five 50-pound canisters of carbon dioxide, as well as sales orders for the CO2 in the name of the property’s owner.

“The real property has been the source of ongoing unlawful activity, including offences involving property, fraud, theft, violence, and controlled substances,” says the government’s statement of claim.

The statement of claim also alleges that the site was used for drug production and trafficking, laundering the proceeds of crime, and tax evasion.

“Some of the funds used to acquire and/or maintain the real property were proceeds of the unlawful activity and/or tax evasion in breach of the Income Trust Act,” the lawsuit says.

The land is owned by a numbered company, 0671262 B.C., of which Milan “Mike” Pocuca is the “sole director, officer, and controlling mind” according to the statement of claim.

None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been proven in court.

READ MORE: Langley crews at Thursday morning fire scene on Fraser Highway

There appear to have been no criminal charges against Pocuca as a result of the police investigation.

The province included not only the company and Pocuca in the civil forfeiture suit, but three of four mortgage holders on the land. The fourth mortgage holder, the Bank of Montreal, did not know of the unlawful activity, says the Office of Civil Forfeiture.

A.D. Logging Lt., Donna Lynn Ayres, and Greyfriars Mortgage were all included in the forfeiture proceedings.

Ayres has filed a notice saying she is an uninvolved interest holder in the property. A.D. Logging’s response says it has not participated in any unlawful activity and if there was any at the site, the logging firm “had no knowledge of those purposes.”

The building on the site was once located further to the east, in the 23600 block of Fraser Highway, where it was part of a two-building nightclub and restaurant, connected by a breezeway, known as the Horseman Roadhouse.

The main building of the Horseman burned to the ground shortly after a New Year’s Eve party concluded on the morning of Jan. 1, 2003. The fire was considered suspicious in nature.

The surviving building was later moved to its present location and renovated into what appeared to be a large detached garage.

According to the most recent BC Assessment, the six-acre property is worth about $1.8 million and, in addition to the garage, has a five-bedroom, three bathroom house.

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