Man charged after RCMP seize furanylfentanyl from Orléans home

The RCMP has charged a 42-year-old man after seizing about 19 grams of the deadly drug furanylfentanyl — equivalent to between 21,000 and 38,000 lethal doses — from a home in Orléans.

42-year-old arrested after police seize more than 21,000 lethal doses of fentanyl analog

The RCMP seized about 19 grams of the deadly drug furanylfentanyl after searching a home in Ottawa's east end on Dec. 15. (CBC)

Police have charged a 42-year-old man after seizing about 19 grams of the deadly drug furanylfentanyl in Ottawa's east end — enough to kill tens of thousands of people.

The charges come after the RCMP's Ottawa detachment searched 731 Clearcrest Cres. in Orléans on Dec. 15.

The man was arrested and charged with importing a controlled substance and other drug-related offences.

View the location of the furanylfentanyl seizure on a map here.

The amount of furanylfentanyl seized is equivalent to somewhere between 21,000 and 38,000 lethal doses, as a dose of a quarter milligram can be fatal, said Sgt. Penny Hermann, a media relations officer with the RCMP.

"That's not a lot, when you think about it," she said.

Furanylfentanyl seizures mounting across Canada

Furanylfentanyl is an analog of the deadly opioid fentanyl, which has been making headlines as overdose deaths in Canada continue to rise.

In November, Ontario's Chief Coroner reported that fentanyl was linked to 165 deaths in the province in 2015: almost a two-fold increase compared to the 86 deaths recorded in 2010. 

On Friday, Vancouver police said that nine people had fatally overdosed on the drug in a single night.

Furanylfentanyl was also found in recent seizures in Calgary, London, Ont. and Yellowknife

Hermann said furanylfentanyl can be more or less potent than fentanyl, depending on how evenly it is mixed. 

"You just don't know what kind of level of toxicity you're getting per dose," she said.

The bust was the result of a joint investigation by the RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency.

"This seizure demonstrates the effectiveness of a strong relationship with CBSA and also contributes to combating the national opioid crisis," said Insp. Paul Mellon, the officer in charge of the RCMP's Ottawa detachment.

The investigation is still ongoing, and the RCMP could not yet say from where the drug was imported or how it made its way to Ottawa.