Police say spike in overdoses contained following arrests

Saskatoon police issue warning about fentanyl-laced cocaine after two deaths this weekend

Police say spike in overdoses contained following arrests

Superintendent David Haye spoke to reporters at police headquarters Monday morning, shortly after the trio made their first appearances in Saskatoon Provincial Court.

Haye said the decision to release an alleged drug dealer's street name and phone number before charges were laid was unprecedented for the Saskatoon Police Service.

Police say in a release issued Sunday evening that they responded to at least six suspected overdose incidents on Saturday, and that two of the people involved, a man and a woman, had died.

Three men are so far facing drug and weapons charges in the case.

She did say there's always a possibility that what happened in Saskatoon could happen here, putting out the general warning to the public that drugs - including fentanyl - are out there and the risks remain for anyone who uses.

"We believe that the public safety interests are of the greater need here and that's why we released that information".

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.

"This is brand new to us", Haye said. "We believe we have the right people in custody". Haye said manslaughter charges are also being considered.




Police began their investigation last month after complaints from people in the neighbourhood about drug trafficking.

"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.

Barrie Police arrested 18 people and seized a quantity of drugs after executing four search warrants on several Little Avenue residences Friday.

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

Eight others were arrested for outstanding warrants and other related charges.

"The Saskatoon Police Service is not searching to pursue any charges for being in possession of the substance".

"We're more interested in public safety at this point".

The men appeared in court on Monday morning.

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