Alberta man charged with manslaughter for deadly opioid, police say
'There is no known application where carfentanil would be safe for human use,' police say
A 32-year-old Alberta man has been charged with drug trafficking and manslaughter in connection with an overdose death last fall in an Edson hotel room.
Edson RCMP were called on Oct. 21, 2016, about a sudden death in a local hotel, police said Monday in a news release.
At the time, police thought the dead man had overdosed on fentanyl. Several tablets and powder residue were found in the room.
The RCMP's clandestine laboratory enforcement team, wearing advanced safety gear, was called to investigate the room.
Police later confirmed the tablets were counterfeit OxyContin and contained carfentanil.
Months later, in March 2017, the office of the chief medical examiner in Edmonton determined the dead man was a victim of a carfentanil overdose.
The synthetic opioid, designed as a tranquillizer for large animals, is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl.
"There is no known application where carfentanil would be safe for human use," RCMP said.
A dose as small as 20 micrograms can be fatal to a person, police said.
Edson RCMP said investigators were able to identify the man who allegedly sold the counterfeit OxyContin tablets.
A 32-year-old Calgary man was arrested on Friday and remains in custody.
He is scheduled to appear in Whitecourt Provincial Court on Sept. 26.