VICTORIA -- Victoria police say they have seized tens-of-thousands of dollars worth of fentanyl and cocaine, as well as a loaded handgun, after three people were arrested during a vehicle stop Friday.

Police say that the arrests are linked to an investigation that uncovered approximately $1 million-worth of highly concentrated fentanyl in Victoria earlier this fall.

The recent arrests took place around 10:45 p.m. at the intersection of Belleville and Government streets. There, VicPD Strike Force officers and the Greater Victoria Emergency Response Team stopped a vehicle that was linked to “organized drug traffickers” in the city.

Three people inside of the vehicle, two men and a woman from Surrey, where then taken into custody. Inside of the vehicle, police located a range of drugs, including fentanyl and cocaine, as well as a large amount of cash.

Investigators also discovered a .45 calibre handgun hidden inside of a secret compartment in the vehicle’s dashboard, behind the car’s radio and temperature controls.

After searching the car, police say they executed search warrants on two suites at hotel in the 700-block of Douglas Street that were connected to the arrested individuals. Inside each suite officers found more fentanyl, cocaine and cash, as well as “evidence of a drug trafficking operation.”

The estimated street value of all the drugs seized is $50,000. Additionally, $60,000 in cash was also seized by police.

Victoria police say the recent arrests are linked to an ongoing investigation into drug trafficking in the city. The same investigation previously led police to the seizure of roughly one kilogram of highly concentrated fentanyl that had an estimated street value of more than $1 million.

The fentanyl had a rare concentration of about 90 per cent. “Typically, samples are found to contain on average 10 per cent fentanyl,” said acting Victoria police Insp. Conor King on Nov. 5.

In fact, over the last year, only one sample across Canada was confirmed to have a concentration over 75 per cent, say Victoria police.

Police are now recommending multiple drug trafficking-related charges against the three people who were arrested Friday, and against three more individuals from Vancouver who are linked to the ongoing investigation.