Edson RCMP lay manslaughter charge after carfentanyl overdose

Edson, Alberta – On October 21, 2016, Edson RCMP responded to a sudden death of 48-year-old Guy Kennedy** at a hotel in Edson, Alberta. Upon arriving at the scene, police believed the deceased had overdosed, and suspected it was due to fentanyl. Several tablets were also located in the room and powder residue.

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Given the dangers associated with fentanyl, the RCMP’s Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement and Response (CLEAR) team was contacted to assist. The hotel room was secured until police with advanced safety gear could investigate the scene. Police later confirmed that the tablets were counterfeit oxycontin and they contained carfentanil.

On March 23, 2017, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Edmonton determined the deceased had died as a result of a carfentanil overdose.

Edson General Investigative Section (GIS) were able to identify who the deceased obtained the counterfeit oxycontin tablets from and on Sept. 22, 2017, Shawn Taras Prokopchuk**, a 32 year-old from Calgary, Alberta, was arrested and charged with trafficking carfentanil, and manslaughter.

He was remanded into custody and will be appearing in Whitecourt Provincial Court on Sept. 26, 2017 via CCTV.

Carfentanil is an analog of the synthetic opioid analgesic fentanyl, and is one of the most potent opioids known. It is listed under Schedule I of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It has a quantitative potency 100 times that of fentanyl whereby a minute dose of as little as 20 micrograms would be fatal to an average human. There is no known application where carfentanil would be safe for human use.

All illegal drugs are not tested and do not meet any safety standards. Products manufactured illegally from substances such as carfentanil can lead to serious personal injuries, and in this case death.

As this matter is now before the courts no further information will be provided.

Edson RCMP


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