Yukon RCMP confirm their first seizure of fentanyl in territory

The police say a 26-year-old man was charged with trafficking after their discovery of a package containing 535 pills.

The police say a 26-year-old man was charged with trafficking after their discovery of 535 pills

Police say they searched a suspicious package in late April and found 535 pills containing fentanyl. (RCMP)

Yukon RCMP have made their first seizure of fentanyl in the territory, according to Supt. Brian Jones.

The police said the 535 pills were in a "suspicious package" intercepted in the Whitehorse area in late April.

The pills were only recently confirmed by a Health Canada laboratory to be fentanyl, according to a RCMP news release.

A 26-year-old suspect, Jibril Hosh Jibril, was arrested on June 30, without incident, according to the release and remains in custody.  He has been charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

RCMP Supt. Brian Jones says it was a matter of when, not if police in Yukon would make a fentanyl seizure. (Steve Hossack/CBC)

The seizure is noteworthy, said Supt. Jones.

"There's been lots of interest in fentanyl in the territory and in Whitehorse,"  he said.

"The existence of it was known within the community, but this is the first seizure that we've had here in the Yukon and in Whitehorse," Jones said.

He said it was a "matter of when, not if," police would come across the drug.

The police don't know if the seizure made a significant impact on the supply of fentanyl in the territory, Jones said, but it does show there is a demand for it in Yukon.

The package searched by police also contained small baggies of pills. (RCMP)

The release says the pills were destined for a location outside of the territory, but Jones could not disclose where that is.

Jones said first responders, including police, have modified their procedures to take into account they could be dealing with substances, like fentanyl, that are toxic to the touch.

At least five Yukoners have died from taking the drug.