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2 people charged after Edmonton police seize almost $300K in drugs including carfentanil

Global News logo Global News 2021-02-11 Kirby Bourne
Edmonton police seized 5586 grams of carfentanil during an arrest on Feb. 3, 2021. The drugs seized have a street value of $102,588. © Edmonton Police Service Edmonton police seized 5586 grams of carfentanil during an arrest on Feb. 3, 2021. The drugs seized have a street value of $102,588.

A man and a woman are facing 33 charges after police seized more than $298,000 worth of drugs and illegal firearms earlier this month, including what is believed to be the second-largest bust of carfentanil in Edmonton.

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On Feb. 3, the Edmonton Police Service tactical unit stopped a vehicle and arrested a man. Police say a search of the vehicle turned up carfentanil, cocaine, methamphetamine and $1,980.

Read more: 16 carfentanil-related deaths in northern Alberta over 2-week span

Police then arrested a woman at a home in the north Edmonton neighbourhood of Belle Rive.

In the home, police say they found more carfentanil, cocaine and methamphetamine as well as MDMA, ketamine $65,000, a loaded Glock 9mm with the serial number defaced and "numerous" loose rounds of ammunition.

Video: Health Matters: 16 carfentanil-related deaths in northern Alberta over 2-week spa

Police also say they found two crossbows in the home, including a handheld one that is illegal in Canada.

“Firearms investigations are often connected to the illegal drug trade, so our officers frequently deal with drug seizures, but this one was exceptional,” said Sgt. Eric Stewart with the EPS Firearms Investigation Unit.

Police say they seized:

methamphetamine: 5586 grams, with an estimated street value of $147,517

carfentanil: 583 grams with an estimated street value of $102,588

cocaine hydrochloride: 477 grams with an estimated street value of $26,873

MDMA: 222 grams with an estimated street value of $11,725

ketamine: 191 grams with an estimated street value of $9,550

“This is, to our knowledge, the second-largest seizure the EPS has ever seen of the highly potent opioid known as carfentanil, and we’re glad we were able to seize this dangerous drug before it made it to Edmonton streets,” Stewart said.

Police in the city don’t see a lot of carfentanil seizures of a smaller quantity either. Edmonton police tend to see more seizures of fentanyl.

Carfentanil is about 100 times more potent than fentanyl. The fatal dose is 20 micrgorams or 2/1000s of a gram according to Sgt. Guy Pilon with the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement section.

“That’s an exorbitant amount of doses that could have been out on the street.

“That’s assuming of course that this was pure and we don’t have the reports back from Health Canada yet as to exactly how potent this was or if it was mixed with anything else.”

According to Pilon, the nature of investigation taking different lengths of time makes it hard to say whether the drug situation in Edmonton and area is getting better.

“I know there’s an issue with getting drugs through the borders and into our area because of COVID and so we’re seeing a subsequent slight increase in pricing as a result.”

Read more: Edmonton police seize $3.2M in carfentanil from 1 house

The majority of what’s being found in the city though is finished product, Pilon said. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of chemicals to make the drugs coming into the area.

Gregory Lafleur, 37, is facing 24 charges, including eight counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking as well as a number of firearms offences and failure to comply with recognizance charges.

Samantha Whitrow, 34, is facing nine charges, including five counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and a number of firearms offences.

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