Red Deer RCMP have seized a drug that is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl.
Lab results from Health Canada have confirmed that drugs seized in Red Deer in March were a mixture of Carfentanil, fentanyl and caffeine, making this the first known seizure of the deadly opioid Carfentanil in the Red Deer area.
The drugs were seized during a joint investigation by Red Deer RCMP and ALERT that led to search warrants at two Red Deer residences on March 8th.
Kim Proctor, an alleged associate of the Independent Soldiers, Steven Herman, an alleged associate of the Red Scorpions, Trina Boudreau-Pritchard and Catherine Nicole Campbell, were arrested and charged as a result.
“Carfentanil is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl – its only legal use is to sedate large animals such as elephants,” said Supt. Robert Schultz of the Red Deer RCMP. “Because of its lethal level of potency, there is virtually no way, even in a controlled laboratory setting, to safely cut and dilute Carfentanil for use in the illicit drug trade. Drug users in Red Deer should be alarmed to know Carfentanil is in the hands of dealers who are almost certainly mixing it with other drugs or substituting it entirely.
“Our team took the safety precautions that normally go along with seizing a fentanyl or any type of unknown substance like a heroin or cocaine (when seizing the Carfentanil in March),” he added. “Our investigators thought it could have been something like a pink heroin. It’s always in the back of our minds that it could be a fentanyl, we just didn’t realize that it was a Carfentanil, which is much worse than fentanyl.”
Schultz said the seizure of the drug is both disturbing and alarming.
“It’s always alarming – that goes for everybody that’s involved from users to traffickers to medical professionals, first responders – because it’s all an unknown.
“The fact that there’s people willing to put that out as a product they are selling is quite disturbing. And we become inadvertent victims as well when we come to respond to their distress because unlike the cocaines and heroins, this type of drug is transmitted through your membranes – if you get some in your eye or your mucus membranes – it’s absorbed that way, even through your skin if it’s a high enough potency.”
Fentanyl and Carfentanil are inexpensive when compared to drugs such as cocaine and heroin, which is incentive for drug dealers to mix or substitute it in order to increase their profit margins.
And that means people who think they’re buying cocaine or heroin may be getting fentanyl or Carfentanil instead. Nationally, RCMP have noted alarming increases in fatal overdoses linked to the consumption of fentanyl-related products.
“Drug dealers don’t care about your health – they’re looking for the biggest profit and they’re working in a system that is run by organized crime,” said Schultz. “Are these really the people you want to trust your life with? It’s not really a risk that I would personally take. It seems like people are playing a little bit of Russian Roulette.”
Naloxone can be used to treat exposure to Carfentanil along with first aid protocols; however, a much greater dosage of Naloxone is required than for fentanyl overdoses.
“I’ve personally seen even at medical facilities where they will administer injection upon injection of Narcan and I’ve seen them inject it four-plus times and it doesn’t have an effect on the person,” said Schultz.
“It’s a drug that is non-discriminating, so if you think it can’t happen to you, you are wrong. If you think that trying it once won’t do anything, you’re wrong. If I can sit here and say it’s all lethal – people shy away from saying that – but that’s the mentality the public should have – is that this stuff is lethal. You wouldn’t ingest rat poison on the off chance it won’t do anything to you, so the education that’s out on fentanyl and Carfentanil and other drugs in general, should tell you not to try it. The risk factors are way too high.”