20 people face drug charges following 'Project Hope'Tuesday, October 22, 2013 by: Kate AdamsNorth Bay Police Service
Between September 16th and Oct 17th 2013, the North Bay Police Service conducted an undercover operation named “Project Hope”.
“Project Hope”, which specifically targeted controlled prescription and other illicit drug traffickers, concluded today, October 22nd, resulting in 20 people facing a total of 48 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and 43 drug related Criminal Code charges.
Just under $17,000.00 of illegal drugs and substances were purchased during the month long investigation.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid analgesic that is used for the management of chronic pain. It is available in its citrate form for oral transmucosal administration, as an injectable solution of fentanyl citrate, or in a transdermal delivery system (i.e., Duragesic). Aside from the drug’s therapeutic applications, fentanyl is a potent drug of abuse. Abuse of fentanyl has included the use of illicit preparations of the drug as well as diversion of clinical preparations of fentanyl. In particular, the abuse of transdermal fentanyl patches has received increasing attention in recent years and is the most commonly abused form of fentanyl.
Misuse of prescription drugs and related harms – including overdose mortality – have emerged in North Bay as important challenges for law enforcement.
In North Bay, fentanyl-related deaths have been increasing since 2007. Between 2007 and 2013, North Bay has had eleven deaths directly attributed to the misuse of fentanyl. Although toxicological results are pending in the other two, fentanyl is suspected to have contributed to death. Evidence of fentanyl use was found at the scene.
Fentanyl has also been linked to non-fatal overdoses in North Bay. Since 2008, six people have been admitted to the emergency department in North Bay as a consequence of fentanyl misuse and/or abuse. Four of those were V.S.A. (vital signs absent) but were revived through medical intervention.
In October 2009, the North Bay Police Service in cooperation with the Coroner and the Medical Officer of Health issued a public advisory aimed at increasing awareness about the risks of Fentanyl misuse and reducing Fentanyl-related mortality rates. Despite those efforts, fentanyl related deaths continued.
As is the case with any drug that has a high index of abuse, increased misuse and abuse of Fentanyl has been associated with acquisitive crime in North Bay (i.e., B&Es, thefts, prescription forgeries, prostitution).
The majority of Fentanyl available on the street in North Bay is supplied by criminal entrepreneurs - patients with legitimate prescriptions who sell part or all of their prescriptions to controlled prescription drug dealers or users.
Unlike other street drugs, such as cocaine, marihuana and heroin, the mere possession alone by someone suspected of dealing synthetic opiates is not enough if they have a legitimate prescription. Possession of large quantities is not enough to secure a conviction for possession for the purpose of trafficking, as would be the case with other drugs. This poses a significant challenge for law enforcement. To build cases and prosecute those involved in opiate trafficking, investigations require significant time and substantial police resources.
The highly addictive nature of Fentanyl and the steady rise of misuse and abuse represent a serious threat to communities. As a drug that is becoming more widely available on the street, coupled with a lack of understanding of the effects when abused, Fentanyl will continue to contribute to overdose deaths and acquisitive crimes committed primarily by drug addicts to pay for illegal drugs and to maintain their lifestyle.
“Project Hope” was initiated to:
• Identify and prosecute street level individuals who were involved in the supplying and/or trafficking of controlled prescription and other illicit drugs and any individuals who assisted in criminal activity.
• Reduce the supply of controlled prescription drugs in the North Bay area through targeted enforcement.
“Project Hope” identified 18 people in the North Bay area who were directly or indirectly involved with the street level trafficking of controlled prescription and other illicit drugs.
An undercover police officer bought controlled prescription drugs and other illicit drugs from these 18 individuals on twenty five occasions during the operation.
Persons charged are:
The North Bay Police Service has arrest warrants for the following persons;
Dani ST PIERRE
Adam ORCHARD (aka MURRAY)