Fentanyl, car­fen­tanil seized in mas­sive bust

Penticton Herald - - CANADA -

ED­MON­TON (CP) — Po­lice say they have seized nearly $4 mil­lion worth of fentanyl pills in Ed­mon­ton as part of a mas­sive bust they be­lieve to be Canada’s largest of the pow­er­ful opi­oid.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a group be­lieved to be traf­fick­ing a large amount of drugs be­gan in March.

Of­fi­cers seized $2 mil­lion in fentanyl pills at an Ed­mon­ton home more than three weeks ago and then searched three more homes in the city, plus an­other in nearby Stur­geon County. It was there that po­lice and RCMP of­fi­cers found a house that had been made into a fentanyl pill-pro­cess­ing lab.

“We know that this drug bust is very sig­nif­i­cant and we be­lieve that we have saved a num­ber of lives by tak­ing all this fentanyl off the streets,” Staff Sgt. Karen Ock­er­man with the Ed­mon­ton Po­lice Ser­vice’s drug and gang unit said Fri­day.

Ock­er­man said po­lice aren’t naive enough to think there aren’t any other labs out there.

“But we think this had made a dif­fer­ence.”

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion led to a to­tal of 130,000 fentanyl pills be­ing seized with an es­ti­mated street value of $3.9 mil­lion.

The bust also turned up four ounces of car­fen­tanil — an opi­oid 100 times more pow­er­ful than fentanyl — along with co­caine, metham­phetamine, cannabis ex­tract, $1 mil­lion in cash and a pickup truck with a hid­den com­part­ment.

Other items seized in­cluded four ce­ment mix­ers small enough for a per­son to carry and two pill presses that to­gether can make 10,000 pills an hour, said Const. Ja­son Wells, who works on an RCMP unit fo­cused on clan­des­tine lab­o­ra­to­ries.

It’s be­lieved the ce­ment mix­ers were used to mix the fentanyl with other agents and chem­i­cals be­fore mak­ing them into pills.

“We had never seen it be­fore. Our col­leagues around the coun­try with other clan­des­tine lab teams had never seen it be­fore,” said Wells.

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