VICTORIA -- A man who is "well known" to Nanaimo RCMP for alleged ties to drug trafficking and production was arrested after he was allegedly found in possession of a large quantity of GHB last week.

RCMP say the 54-year-old man was under investigation for drug-related charges when police saw him making a suspected drug deal in the parking lot of Terminal Park Mall on March 3.

Police then arrested him at the scene and searched his vehicle. That's when officer allegedly found 40 litres of GHB in the trunk of his vehicle. GHB is often referred to as a date rape drug and acts as a sedative, according to the Canada-based Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

After the man was arrested, police say they secured a search warrant and searched his central Nanaimo residence, located in a motel.

At his home, police reportedly found another litre of GHB, half an ounce of suspected fentanyl, three ounces of cocaine, and small amounts of methamphetamine and cocaine. Police also seized $1,500 in cash.

Then, on March 5, Mounties searched three storage lockers related to the individual that were located on a rural property in south Nanaimo. There, police say they found signs of GHB production, and seized "drug production equipment, precursors, and a small amount of GHB."

"This is just another excellent example of our officers aggressively targeting individuals who continue to sell drugs to the vulnerable population in our community, and to those who are entrenched in the vicious cycle of drug addiction," said Const. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP in a release Thursday.

The man, who investigators say has ties to fentanyl trafficking and previous connections to GHB production, has since been released from custody as the investigation continues. Police say he will likely face charges of production of a controlled substance and two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking.