Saskatoon police urge public to turn in cocaine after fentanyl deaths

Police responding to an overdose call in the 3000 block of Arlington Avenue Saturday morning

Police responding to an overdose call in the 3000 block of Arlington Avenue Saturday morning

Haye said manslaughter charges are also being considered.

Saskatoon police believe the arrests of three men Sunday have put a tainted drug scare to rest for the time being.

Saskatoon police have issued a release aimed at drug users in Saskatoon after two died and four others were hospitalized on the weekend for drug overdoses.

In order to make members of the public aware of the potentially risky substance, police released the street name and the phone number of the drug dealer suspected of supplying the drugs.

Police had initially warned anyone who may have purchased cocaine from a drug dealer named "Lil Joe" or "Joe Bro" or have contacted a dealer with the number 306-881-7300, that the drug they purchased could be laced with fentanyl. However, he said the move came after consulting with prosecutors.

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"This is brand new to us", he said.

Police now have the cellphone connected to that number.

"We believe that the public safety interests are of the greater need here", he said at a news conference Monday, adding that the phone itself is now in the hands of police.

The trio, who all appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court on Monday morning, were arrested over a several-hour span Saturday night and early Sunday morning, following three emergency calls tied to six suspected overdoses. "We are interested in the health and safety of the public". At about 7:30 the first home on Murphy Crescent, they found two men, aged 21 and 24 suffering from apparent drug overdoses. Take-home naloxone kits are available to at-risk individuals and their households in Saskatoon. Police said anyone doing so would not face possession charges.

Two of the men were arrested while driving in the city, and the third was taken into custody after police and the tactical support unit executed a search warrant at an address on the 100 block of Pawlychenko Lane.

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A 36-year-old Toronto male is charged with possession cocaine and three counts of possession of a prohibited weapon He was remanded into custody for a bail hearing.

Two of the people, a 25-year-old female and another male, have since died.

Investigators recovered $14,210 in cash, 11.16 grams of fentanyl-laced cocaine, 149.88 grams of cocaine, 31.13 grams of heroin and 34.44 grams of marijuana in the raid, they said.

"Why they do it, I can speculate it, but I'm not sure", he said.

"When the major crime unit has completed (their) investigation, they'll share their findings with the provincial Crown and the federal Crown".

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