The brown house at the corner of Lansdowne and Steeple drives in Coquitlam pretty much looks like any other home on the block.
And the people who lived in the home up until the end of June probably looked like typical neighbours.
They were a quiet couple in their 30s who stuck to themselves for the most part, people living nearby recalled.
But that image was shattered back on June 29, when police raided the home at 1273 Lansdowne Dr., suspecting the property was a drug lab.
Unbeknownst to residents up and down the winding street, the couple living there were wanted in the U.S. for allegedly running a massive marijuana drug operation that stretched from California to Baltimore and as far south as Louisiana.
Matt Nicka, 38, and Gretchen Peterson, 33, are wanted in the U.S. for conspiracy to distribute and manufacture 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
The couple reportedly fled from their Coquitlam home just before the raid in June, but was picked up a couple of days ago near Vancouver by Canada Border Services Agency officials.
Gabor Huszar has lived across the street from the house for 14 years.
He never saw the couple who lived in the home most recently, but he did hear a dog barking all the time.
Other than the odd car parked in front, he said it was a quiet place.
Thats a surprise, Huszar told the Tri-Cities NOW, when told the people across the street were fugitives.
Though he never saw the people, he got a front row seat to the bust back in June.
About two days before, he had noticed an unfamiliar car parked nearby for six-hour periods.
He was about to call police himself, but they swooped in before he had the chance.
Huszar said hes glad the couple is gone but questioned how they managed to hide themselves from authorities.
Another neighbour who spoke to the Tri-Cities NOW, but did not want to be identified, said he rarely saw the man living at the home.
However, he saw the woman, presumably Peterson, more often, running errands.
Several media reports from the U.S. said the couple could be travelling with Petersons 13-year-old daughter.
The neighbour said they saw a teenaged girl when they first moved in a couple of years ago, but heard she was sent back to California.
Rumours on the street had been flying after the lab bust that the two were fugitives from America.
On Thursday, the Canada Border Services Agency confirmed it had launched an investigation back in November 2012 to determine if the couple fled to Canada, based on information it received from the US Marshals Service.
On Aug. 5, Nicka and Peterson were arrested by CBSA officers at a ferry terminal. According to information disclosed at the pairs detention hearing, Nicka fled the RCMP on June 26, at a coffee shop in Port Coquitlam, where an officer had identified him. An abandoned car in the coffee shop parking lot was later traced back to a home in Coquitlam where they both lived.
On Aug. 7, the pair made an appearance at the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) for a detention review. They were detained until their next appearance on Aug. 14.
Exactly how the pair got into Canada is still unclear.
The CBSA said an investigation has confirmed there is no record of either Nicka or Peterson entering Canada at a designated port of entry.
It is important to note that CBSA is responsible for border security at designated ports of entry, said a CBSA spokesperson in an e-mail to the Tri-Cities NOW. The RCMP is responsible for border enforcement in between ports of entry.
According to CBSA documents obtained by the Tri-Cities NOW, the owners of the property are listed as Sayida and Nisarahmed Vohra.
Neighbours said the couple rented out the home and were not living in it at the time.
A reporter from the Tri-Cities NOW knocked on the door of the home Thursday afternoon, but no one answered.
The house did appear as though someone was living in it, though, as a blue recycling box was full and patio furniture was displayed out front.
According to media reports, at the time of the bust at the home on Lansdowne, police found marijuana and equipment and ingredients commonly found in a meth lab.
On Thursday, local RCMP didnt have much to say about the investigation.
RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said Coquitlam Mounties were called in to take down the lab and remove any hazardous materials.
According to U.S court documents, prosecutors for the District of Maryland claim Nicka, who went by a number of aliases including Grump and Surfer Dude, along with Peterson and several other defendants, conspired to distribute 1,000 kilograms of pot. The documents suggest the defendants obtained and transported large quantities of marijuana grown in Canada and Northern California to warehouses in Maryland, where the pot was divided and distributed in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kansas, Florida and elsewhere.
The documents also suggest the group transported the marijuana via aircraft, tractor-trailer, train and other vehicles. The documents also allege Nicka and Peterson used a home in Baltimore to distribute marijuana between 2007 and 2009
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