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Police in Thunder Bay, Ont., make largest fentanyl seizure in service's history

Jun 05, 2020 10:00AM ● By Editor
Thunder Bay police said they seized large quantities of fentanyl, cocaine, and crack cocaine, and arrested three people, as a result of a drug trafficking investigation that began last year. Photo: Thunder Bay Police Service/Provided

From CBC News - Thunder Bay - June 4, 2020

An investigation into drug trafficking in Thunder Bay, Ont., has led police to seize nearly $400,000 in illicit drugs, and arrest three people.

The investigation began in October 2019, focusing on a residence in the 500 block of Van Norman Street, the Thunder Bay Police Service stated in a written release Thursday.

"The intelligence team has been working, of course, with the impact of the drugs, and in particular the GTA impact on the drug distribution within the city," Detective-Inspector John Fennell told CBC News. "They were able to identify a particular source coming to the city, that was feeding the trap houses."

The investigation led police to secure a search warrant for the residence, and it was executed with assistance from the OPP just before 6:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Police found two women inside, and placed them under arrest. A third suspect, a man, was found in an upstairs bathroom; police said he tried to lock himself inside, and was arrested after a brief struggle.

A search of the home led police to discover large quantities of fentanyl, crack cocaine, and cocaine, along with about $150,000 in cash, a handgun, and paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking.

Police said more than a pound of fentanyl was seized, making it the "largest-ever single fentanyl seizure" in the history of the Thunder Bay Police Service.

"This purple fentanyl and blue fentanyl, heaven knows what it's mixed with," Fennell said. "It could be absolute poison, or a distributor here could try to even lessen it more, and put other things in it, to be able to sell more and get a greater profit."

"People don't know what they're putting in their veins, and that causes them to overdose, and, unfortunately, sometimes pass away from that overdose, or the type of drug that [they're] putting into their body," he said. "Taking this off the street absolutely will save lives, and a great deal of medical and hospital costs, as well."

The estimated street value of all the drugs is about $400,000, police said.

A 21-year-old man from Toronto, 20-year-old woman from Mississauga, and 24-year-old woman from Manchester, England, are all facing numerous drug and weapons-related charges.

Fennell said it's too early to know why the person from Manchester was involved in the Thunder Bay trafficking operation, or at what level.

"I wouldn't be able to suggest that there's more to it than just the GTA angle," he said. "It is definitely an item that we will take into account."

All accused appeared in court on Thursday, and were remanded into custody.


To read the original story and read related reporting, follow this link to the CBC News website.  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/thunder-bay-fentanyl-bust-1.5598585

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