British Columbia

Unusually high concentration of fentanyl seized in Victoria 'extremely troubling,' police say

Police in Victoria, B.C. say a kilogram of fentanyl seized during an arrest last month was unusually potent and could have aggravated the province's worsening overdose crisis.

Inspector says seized drugs 'would undoubtedly have resulted in more deaths'

Police in Victoria, B.C., say they're concerned about the high concentration of fentanyl found during a recent drug seizure. (CBC)

Police in Victoria, B.C., say a kilogram of fentanyl seized during an arrest last month was unusually potent and could have aggravated the province's worsening overdose crisis.

The seizure came after a months-long investigation into organized crime in the capital region, according to a police press release. A suspect believed to be involved in the drug trade was arrested in the 0-block of Dallas Road on Oct. 21, and police took possession of the fentanyl at that time.

"The subsequent analysis of this kilogram of a controlled substance by Health Canada confirmed it has a concentration of 90 per cent fentanyl, which is rare and extremely troubling," acting Insp. Conor King said in a press release.

"Typically, samples are found to contain on average 10 per cent fentanyl. In 2019 only one sample in Canada tested above 75 per cent."

King noted that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, drug concentrations have been rising, and seven samples have tested above 75 per cent concentration so far this year.

"In the midst of an opioid overdose pandemic, the dangerously high concentration of this seized fentanyl, in this amount, would undoubtedly have resulted in more deaths," King said.

Investigators are recommending drug trafficking charges against the suspect, along with four other people from the Lower Mainland.

Police say a kilogram of fentanyl seized in Victoria, B.C., last month was 90 per cent pure. (Victoria Police Department)

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