Lab results have confirmed Carfentanil was in a mixture of drugs seized by Red Deer RCMP in March making it the first known seizure of the deadly opioid in the Red Deer area.
The drugs that tested positive for Carfentanil, fentanyl and caffeine were seized during an investigation of two Red Deer residences.
“Carfentanil is 100 times more toxic than fentanyl – its only legal use is to sedate large animals such as elephants,” said Red Deer RCMP Sgt. Robert Schultz in a press release.
“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.”
Police said 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. That means people who think they’re buying cocaine or heroin may be getting fentanyl or Carfentanil instead.
Nationally, RCMP have seen 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,” Schultz said.
Naloxone can be used to treat exposure to Carfentanil, but a much greater dosage of naloxone is required than for fentanyl overdoses. Naloxone is a drug that can temporarily reverse opioid overdose to give people time to seek medical treatment.
Sarah Fleck, interim operational manager at Turning Point, said positive test results for Carfentanil were not a surprise.
“As of January we strongly suspected that Carfentanil has been in Red Deer,” Fleck said.
“We’ve heard of clients that have required up to 22 doses of naloxone before they’re coming out of an overdose. That doesn’t fit a fentanyl overdose because a fentanyl overdoses doesn’t require those doses.”
She said educating people about the dangers of such a strong opiate in Red Deer is important because its impacts on humans are unknown.
“There has never been any testing done on humans because it wasn’t intended for us.”
Four people were arrested during the RCMP’s investigation in March.
Kim Proctor, 38, was charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm, two counts of possession of a weapon obtained by crime and possession of property obtained by crime. Proctor’s next court appearance is on Thursday in Red Deer provincial court.
Steven Herman, 35, was charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of a controlled substance. Herman pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial in January.
Police previously alleged Herman and Proctor had gang ties.
Trina Boudreau-Pritchard, 28, was charged with three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. She pleaded not guilty and goes to trial in January.
Another 26-year-old woman was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking. Her trial is scheduled for September.