Third person dies after overdoses linked to cocaine possibly laced with fentanyl
Published Thursday, March 15, 2018 9:57AM CST Last Updated Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:00AM CST
A third person has died following drug overdoses over the weekend involving what Saskatoon police believe is cocaine laced with fentanyl.
A 25-year-old woman died in hospital on Wednesday evening after being hospitalized Saturday, according to police. Officers were called to a home in the 400 block of Avenue W South at 10:30 Saturday morning where two women were found suffering from the effects of an overdose, according to police. A 48-year-old woman died and the 25-year-old was taken to hospital.
Two others died and four others were taken to hospital, prompting the Saskatoon Police Service to issue a warning to the public. Police advised that cocaine purchased from a dealer who goes by the name "Lil Joe" or "Joe Bro," or from someone with the number 306-881-7300, may be laced with fentanyl — and, potentially, a fatal dose of fentanyl.
Officers responded to two other calls Saturday morning in relation to the overdoses. The the first call came from Murphy Crescent at 7:30 a.m. A 21-year-old man and a 24-year-old man were found suffering from the effects of what police say were apparent drug overdoses and were taken to hospital.
The second call came in at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 3000 block of Arlington Avenue. A 27-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man overdosed. Both were taken to hospital, but the man later died.
Three men were arrested in connection to the case. Police executed a search warrant at an address on the 100 block of Pawlychenko Lane and seized more than $14,200 in cash, 11.16 grams of cocaine with fentanyl, 149 grams of cocaine, 31 grams of heroin, 34 grams of marijuana and a gun with ammunition were seized during the arrests, police said in a news release.
The trio charged range in age between 19 and 21 years old, court documents show. Two are from Calgary and one lives in Saskatoon.
Police are not ruling out manslaughter or murder charges in connection with overdose deaths investigators believe are linked to cocaine possibly laced with fentanyl.
“The investigation into the deaths is ongoing, and once the major crime unit has completed that investigation, they’ll share their findings with the provincial Crown and the federal Crown,” Supt. Dave Haye told media Monday morning. “If it’s recommended by them to proceed with the charges in relation to the death, we’ll certainly follow through with that.”
Police are still warning the public that any drug which has not been prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist may pose a serious health risk.