A drug that is 10,000 times stronger than morphine, and completely legal, has been seized in Edmonton.
In December the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) was conducting a fentanyl investigation when they found four kilograms of the highly dangerous drug W-18. Staff Sergeant Dave Knibbs told a news conference on Wednesday that this is the first time W-18 has been seized in powder form in Alberta.
“A four kilogram seizure of W-18 could have produced hundreds of millions of illicit pills.”
When the drug was seized police didn’t know what it was at first so it was sent to a Health Canada drug lab. They alerted medical professionals on April 8 that W-18 may have arrived in Edmonton, it was confirmed to be the deadly drug on Tuesday.
“To our best knowledge, this is the first time that W-18 has been seized in a powder form in Alberta,” Knibbs said. “W-18 is a synthetic opioid and it’s reported to be 100 times stronger and more toxic than fentanyl.”
The investigation into the bust in December is ongoing so Knibbs was very limited in the details he could tell reporters. He wouldn’t confirm whether there was someone facing charges regarding the investigation, but said they can’t charge anyone with the possession of the W-18.
“W-18 is not scheduled in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. It’s not illegal to possess or distribute in Canada right now,” explained Knibbs.
Normally at a press conference that involves a significant amount of drugs or weapons the items seized are put on display for the media, this time it wasn’t possible.
“Because of the toxicity of this powder, if it were to become airborne in a setting like this, all of our lives would be at risk,” Knibbs told reporters.
Knibbs said that the powder was imported from somewhere overseas. (kb)