Montreal Cops Seize Drug "40X Stronger Than Heroin"

By McCarton Ackerman 05/14/13

Police seize hundreds of thousands of highly-potent synthetic pills aimed at young people.

Many of the pills had "Facebook" stamps
to attract younger users.
Photo via

A powerful new synthetic drug that is 40 times stronger than heroin and 80 times stronger than morphine has hit the streets of Montreal, police warn. Seven recent raids throughout the Canadian city resulted in the arrests of two dealers inside a UPS store as they attempted to ship over 12,000 pills of the narcotic known as Desmethyl Fentanyl, a derivative of the painkiller Fentanyl, which were hidden inside a microwave oven and a toaster. “The effects could be fatal,” says Dr. Danielle Auger, director of public health for the provincial Health Department. “Large quantities were seized, so we can presume that they are on the street. These drugs are made in very poor conditions with a lot of different chemicals. It is quite a gamble to take drugs like this.” One officer was taken to the hospital with heart palpitations simply from handling the potent drugs, even while wearing a mask and gloves, and three other officers developed rashes on their arms. Police seized nearly 300,000 illegal pills in the seven raids, including Fentanyl, oxycodone, ecstasy and speed. Many of these pills had been painted bright colors or stamped with popular logos—including those of Facebook and Tim Hortons (a Canadian donut company)—to make them more appealing to young people. Police also seized three machines used to manufacture the drugs, in addition to 1,500 kilograms of ingredients capable of producing at least 3 million more pills. Inspector Marc Riopel of the Montreal police says the pills were being manufactured at a rate of one per second.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.