Yellowknife, Northwest Territories – Further to Yellowknife RCMP responding to a series of suspected opioid drug overdoses over 24 hours late last week, a search warrant has been executed.
The Federal Investigations Unit of the Northwest Territories RCMP entered into investigations related to suspected opioid overdoses, with Yellowknife RCMP assisting. Yellowknife Detachment members found an unknown substance during one of the investigations, and took precautions to isolate the residence.
A judicially authorized search warrant was executed at a residence on Borden Drive. Police resources were flown in from the Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response Teams (CLEAR Teams) from British Columbia and Alberta. These teams assisted the Northwest Territories RCMP Federal Investigations Unit with the execution of the search warrant. The police were also supported with personnel and equipment from the City of Yellowknife Fire Division.
During the search warrant execution, an unknown substance was seized and sent for processing at a Health Canada laboratory in British Columbia.
The laboratory results have come back and the substance has been identified as furanyljentanyl. Furanylfentanyl is an opioid analgesic that is an analog of fentanyl and has been sold as a designer drug.
“This is the first time that we have seen this type of fentanyl on the streets of Yellowknife and within the Northwest Territories”, states Sgt Dean Riou, NCO i/c Northwest Territories RCMP Federal Investigations Unit. “While we cannot link this seizure directly to the illicit opioid overdoses that were seen last week, we can confirm that it was involved in a suspected drug related event at the residence. This seizure demonstrates that drug users can never be certain what they are putting into their bodies when they use drugs that have not been prescribed by a medical professional.”
The residence was released from police custody early in the evening of Saturday, November 26. There was no identifiable danger to the public from the residence once the CLEAR Teams were able to process the scene.
The investigation continues.
The RCMP reminds citizens of the Northwest Territories that illicit opioids can come in many forms, including powder, pill, liquid and blotter form. Fentanyl and other related synthetic compounds are extremely potent and dangerous. It can be absorbed through the skin and accidental inhalation of airborne powder can also occur if not handled properly.
The RCMP warns the public to not handle any unknown substance. Call your local RCMP detachment and report the location so it can be handled appropriately.
Visit rcmp-grc.ca for more information.
Should anyone have any information in relation to this investigation, please contact the Yellowknife RCMP at 867-669-1111. Information can also be given anonymously through Crimestoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS(8477), online at http://www.nwtnutips.com or via texting NWTNUTIPS plus your message to 274637.
Northwest Territories RCMP