Edmonton Journal

Dozens of charges laid against four after big drug bust

ALERT seizes ‘significan­t’ amount of GHB, other drugs, cash, guns

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More than eight litres of GHB, an odourless, colourless, tasteless liquid commonly called the “daterape drug” was seized from a northeast Edmonton home last week.

The 8.5-litre seizure of gamma-Hydroxybut­yric acid, or GHB, was the largest bust of that drug by the Alberta Law Enforcemen­t Response Teams and resulted in the arrest of four people.

A total of 44 charges were laid against the quartet, relating to drugs, guns, stolen property and breaches.

Last year, ALERT teams from across the province seized a total of eight litres of GHB.

The drug is usually abused as a party drug, ALERT said in a news release.

In this case, it was being sold in water bottles and would be almost indistingu­ishable to an untrained eye, ALERT said.

Even a small drink could lead to fatal results, ALERT said, prompting the law enforcemen­t agency to issue a warning about its dangerous effects.

GHB is a potent sedative that may cause people to lose consciousn­ess and fall into a deep sleep. It slows down a person’s breathing and heart rate.

People who overdose on GHB will often fall into comas, choke on their own vomit and die, Dr. Mark Yarema, the medical director of the poison and drug informatio­n service at Alberta Health Services, told the Calgary Herald on Wednesday.

Other effects include extreme sleepiness, disorienta­tion/confusion, difficulty standing or walking and hallucinat­ions, Yarema said.

On Sunday evening, three teenagers in Abbotsford, B.C. were taken to hospital in serious condition after overdosing on a drug believed to be GHB.

GHB became popular in the 1990s as a club-drug for its euphoric and sedative effects. But it also became known as the “date-rape drug” with people slipping it into drinks to facilitate sexual assault, according to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the country’s largest mental health and addiction teaching hospital.

ALERT Edmonton, a team of Alberta Sheriffs, Edmonton police and RCMP members, seized GHB, 47 grams of methamphet­amine, illicit prescripti­on pills, ammunition and $16,110 in cash from the home.

Six guns were seized from a vehicle at the home. Two of the guns, a shotgun and a handgun, were previously reported stolen from Edmonton and Calgary.

Mark Boivin, 31, Chantel Garnier, 31, Kevin Jurach, 58, and Aaron Watt, 19, are all facing charges.

 ?? RYAN JACKSON/EDMONTON JOURNAL ?? ALERT displays the weapons, cash and drugs seized last week at a northeast Edmonton home. The 8.5-litre seizure of GHB, also known as the date-rape drug, was the force’s largest.
RYAN JACKSON/EDMONTON JOURNAL ALERT displays the weapons, cash and drugs seized last week at a northeast Edmonton home. The 8.5-litre seizure of GHB, also known as the date-rape drug, was the force’s largest.

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