A West Vancouver man was indicted on federal charges in the US for allegedly operating an international dark web drug and money laundering criminal organization linked to the fentanyl deaths of two U.S. Navy servicemen.
The drug investigation that started in 2017 led police to Thomas Michael Federuik of West Vancouver, and Paul Anthony Nicholls of Surrey, United Kingdom.
During a US investigation in two separate fentanyl overdose deaths of U.S. Navy servicemen, American authorities discovered packaging material allegedly linking the deadly fentanyl to Canada. The toxic fentanyl shipped from Canada to the two U.S. Navy petty officers in Kingsland, Georgia has been attributed to their deaths.
After linking the package to a West Vancouver home, officers were able to intercept several packages and determined their content to be fentanyl. In March 2018, investigators arrested Federuik and Nicholls at a West Vancouver residence, and seized a large quantity of fentanyl. Investigators also discovered mail tracking slips that coincided with the fentanyl packaging material found by U.S. authorities. Having overstayed his visa, Nicholls was immediately deported to the U.K. while the investigation continued.
Since the most serious offences had taken place in the United States, it was determined that the U.S. Attorney’s Office would take on the prosecution for this case, and pursue the extradition of Federuik and Nicholls to stand trial in the Southern District of Georgia. On May 24, 2022, officers arrested Federuik on a provisional arrest warrant, while Nicholls was simultaneously arrested in the United Kingdom.
The U.S. indictment alleges that Federuik and Nicholls conspired to import drugs from China and Hungary, while using the business names East Van Eco Tours, and Bridge City Consulting LLP, to distribute the drugs across the U.S. The indictment further alleges that the fentanyl packaged by the two suspects was shipped from Canada to Georgia, leading to the overdose deaths of the two U.S. servicemen. Federuik and Nicholls are currently awaiting extradition proceedings to appear in court in the Southern District of Georgia, U.S.
People can anonymously report criminal activities, please contact Crimestoppers by phone at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or visit www.solvecrime.ca.