Saskatoon Police say 11-month investigation led to latest manslaughter charge in drug case

Saskatoon Police say it took 11 months to connect three alleged drug dealers with a fourth death on a deadly weekend last March.

Police confirm they now believe 4 people killed by cocaine cut with fentanyl

Paramedics responding to a suspected overdose became a common sight in 2020. (Charles Hamilton/CBC )

Police in Saskatoon say they knew four people had likely died of taking cocaine laced with fentanyl on March 10, 2018.

But it wasn't until a news conference Feb. 22 that they publicly revealed there was a fourth victim, a 28-year-old man.

For the past 11 months, news releases had only referred to three people who had died.

​"There is evidence that is collected, but then needs to be analyzed. The analysis part can take time," police spokesperson Kelsie Fraser said in an email.'

"In early February, we reached a point where they believed we had sufficient evidence to proceed with laying charges."

Fraser added the investigation is ongoing.

Seven people were taken to hospital that weekend.

At the time, police reported that a 34-year-old man and two women, aged 25 and 49, had died.

The three accused are now charged with four counts of manslaughter, four counts of criminal negligence causing death and four counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.


Dan Zakreski is a reporter for CBC Saskatoon.