On February 18th, members of the CPS Guns and Gangs unit used search warrants to conduct a search on a man’s home and vehicle in Chestermere, with assistance from the RCMP. It was part of an investigation into an alleged drug ring. 9,600 80-milligram pills were seized by officers, hidden in a secret compartment of the suspects vehicle, and were suspected to be counterfeit oxycodone. The value of this seizure was upwards of $768,000, with over $3,000 in cash that was also located by officers. Health Canada examined samples of the pills that were seized and have confirmed that the counterfeit oxycodone actually contains fentanyl and caffeine. Fentanyl is a very strong opiate, and is more potent than morphine.
Unfortunately, its presence in the counterfeit pills drastically increases the risk of overdosing–creating strong concern for the people who used it and believed it was actual oxycodone.
29-year-old Chestermere resident, Brian Thomas Harrington, has been charged with the following:
• Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking
• Possession of property obtained by crime
Officials say that they are witnessing an increase of the availability of counterfeit oxycodone containing fentanyl in communities across Canada.
The Canadian Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (CCENDU) has released an alert to inform citizens about what the counterfeit pills tend to look like. According to this release, many of the counterfeit oxycodone pills are green and stamped with “CDN” on one side and the number 80 on the other.
Police officials are using this drug bust to educate people on the dangers of purchasing street drugs by saying there is no safe street drug, and no safe dose of a street drug.
As shown in this situation, there is absolutely no way to tell whether the drugs you buy are made with what you are being told. The presence of any foreign ingredient, such as fentanyl in this case, could lead to serious injury or death.
If you have any further information on the existence of counterfeit oxycodone, you are asked to call the Calgary Police Drug Tip Line at (403) 428-8100. You are also encouraged to call Crime Stoppers anonymously using the following methods:
• TALK: 1-800-222-8477
• TYPE: tttTIPS.com
• TEXT: tttTIPS to 274637