Po­lice warn of Hal­loween-themed fen­tanyl blot­ters

Winnipeg Free Press - - NEWS - KEVIN ROLLASON kevin.rollason@freep­ress.mb.ca

TRICK-OR-TREATERS are be­ing warned to be­ware of po­ten­tially lethal drugs on pa­per with a pic­ture of a witch when they go out on Hal­loween.

Win­nipeg po­lice spokesman Const. Rob Carver said that during a drug seizure on Fri­day, six pa­per blot­ters laced with fen­tanyl were dis­cov­ered. They could even be laced with car­fen­tanil, which is more po­tent.

Carver said po­lice worry there could be more in the com­mu­nity.

“Given the na­ture of the blot­ters, and the close tim­ing of Hal­loween, (po­lice are) ad­vis­ing cau­tion, should the pub­lic en­counter any of these items which ap­pear to be harm­less pieces of pa­per,” he said.

“If a child touches this, it could be lethal. I can’t stress it even more strongly.”

Carver said the blot­ters are about the size of a postage stamp and if any­one sees one, they should im­me­di­ately call 911.

“We’ve seized six and we don’t usu­ally find just six, so that’s cer­tainly our con­cern that there would be more,” Carver said Sun­day.

Po­lice in Win­nipeg have found blot­ters with opi­oids be­fore.

In Septem­ber 2016, po­lice said they seized up­wards of 1,500 blotter tabs con­tain­ing car­fen­tanil, which is 100 times more pow­er­ful than fen­tanyl, when a tac­ti­cal team car­ried out a search war­rant at a ho­tel.

In June, Win­nipeg po­lice Chief Danny Smyth said car­fen­tanil was be­ing dis­trib­uted in blotter tabs with the street name Drop Dead.

Smyth de­scribed the blotter tabs as be­ing sim­i­lar to the way LSD was dis­trib­uted in the 1970s.

Carver said blot­ters of­ten have im­ages, such as a car­toon char­ac­ter, and that drug deal­ers will iden­tify with a par­tic­u­lar im­age.

“This one is unique in that it’s right be­fore Hal­loween and does have a Hal­loween theme,” he said.

Four peo­ple were ar­rested during the drug bust in a Fort Rouge res­i­dence.

Be­sides the fen­tanyl blot­ters, po­lice seized 11 grams of metham­phetamine worth $1,100, about $1,800 in cash, bear spray and “nu­mer­ous cap­sules con­tain­ing an un­known white pow­der.”

Carver said the pow­der and blot­ters are be­ing sent to Health Canada to de­ter­mine what they are, but the process usu­ally takes weeks.

Cameron Joseph Bon­ham, 41, has been charged with sev­eral of­fences, in­clud­ing traf­fick­ing fen­tanyl. He re­mains in cus­tody.

Two men, aged 39 and 27, and a 25-year-old woman have been charged with other drug of­fences and were re­leased on prom­ises to ap­pear in court.

WIN­NIPEG PO­LICE SER­VICE

The pa­per blot­ters are about the size of a postage stamp.

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