Weyburn deputy chief says drug warning appropriate even if not 'completely true'

Deputy Chief Rod Stafford says they acted on credible information before sending out a warning to the public. However there has not been any of the fentanyl contaminated cocaine seized or found.

Police issued a warning that they believed cocaine laced with fentanyl was circulating in Weyburn

Weyburn police said in a tweet Saturday those in possession of the substance can turn it into police without fear of prosecution or arrest. (CBC)

The deputy chief of the Weyburn Police Service (WPS) said he is not aware of any fentanyl laced cocaine in the city but has strong reason to believe it is there.

The WPS sent out releases on social media Saturday notifying the public that the mixture was believed to be present in the city, though it had not been found by police at that time.

"We have have every reason to believe it is present in Weyburn but we've got nothing to substantiate that yet," said deputy chief of police Rod Stafford.

Stafford said the WPS received credible information from people "involved with the drug culture in Weyburn" and opted to treat the news as true. He said anyone in possession of the mixture can turn it into police without fear of being prosecuted. 

Three recent overdoses in Saskatoon and two suspected overdoses in Maidstone, SK also informed the WPS' decision to notify the public.

"We felt it was in the interest of public safety, even if it wasn't in fact completely true, to err on the side of caution," said Stafford. 

Stafford called the Weyburn General Hospital Monday morning to see if any patients had come in contact with the mixture.

"Nothing identifiable came into them over the weekend," said Stafford. 

Weyburn has one dedicated drug unit officer for a population of more than 10,000 people, according to Stafford. 

"That complicates things a little bit in terms of the resources we can devote to any particular problem, let alone this one," he said. 

Stafford said people from larger urban centres shouldn't be surprised that cocaine is turning up in smaller cities.

"We're no different than any other area of the province. Cocaine has been a staple drug, if I can use that term, here for a number of years," he said.

"What you're seeing in Regina and Saskatoon, we're seeing in Weyburn."