5 arrested in possibly largest fentanyl seizure in New Brunswick history

'Significant quantities' of drugs and weapons were seized during the execution of three search warrants, the RCMP said. (RCMP - image credit)
'Significant quantities' of drugs and weapons were seized during the execution of three search warrants, the RCMP said. (RCMP - image credit)

Five people have been arrested in connection with what RCMP say may be the largest seizure of fentanyl in New Brunswick's history.

Police seized nearly five kilograms of what's believed to be fentanyl, along with "significant quantities" of other drugs and weapons, as part of an investigation into drug trafficking in Haut-Aboujagane, about a 15-minute drive southeast of Shediac, and the southeastern part of the province, said Staff Sgt. Jeff Johnston, of the RCMP's provincial crime reduction unit.

"We believe these arrests and seizures have dismantled a drug production site in the province," Johnston said in a statement.

He described it as a "significant step toward preventing harmful drugs from reaching the hands of vulnerable New Brunswickers."

Fentanyl is a very potent opioid meant to be used as a pain reliever. It's 20 to 40 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to Health Canada. This makes the risk of accidental overdose "very high," its website says. "A few grains can be enough to kill you."

RCMP
RCMP

On Oct. 28, police arrested a 32-year-old man outside a residence on Aboujagane Road, in connection with the investigation, according to a news release.

Subsequent to his arrest, police executed three search warrants at different locations in the Haut-Aboujagane and Grand Barachois areas.

In addition to the suspected fentanyl, police seized "significant quantities" of what's believed to be cocaine, so-called shady 8 pills, which are known to contain fentanyl, crystal methamphetamine, methamphetamine pills, and hydromorphone pills, as well as drug production equipment and drug trafficking paraphernalia, the release says.

Police also seized four non-restricted firearms, three prohibited firearms, two restricted firearms, a crossbow, various ammunition and magazines, as well as a number of vehicles and several stolen items, including a stolen generator.

RCMP
RCMP

Five people were arrested, including a 25-year-old woman, two men aged 32, and man, 34, all from Haut-Aboujagane, as well as a man, 55, from Grand Barachois.

Four of them were released on conditions and are scheduled to appear in Moncton provincial court on Jan. 6, according to police.

On Oct. 29,  a 32-year-old man appeared in Moncton provincial court via videoconference, and was charged with unauthorized possession of firearms.

He was remanded into custody and returned to court on Nov. 1, when he was charged with:

  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking fentanyl.

  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine.

  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking hydromorphone.

  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking crystal methamphetamine.

  • Possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine.

  • Possession of a firearm without a licence.

  • Unauthorized possession of a restricted firearm.

  • Production of a schedule 1 drug.

He remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in court again on Nov. 4 at 1:30 p.m. for a bail hearing.

The investigation began in September and continues by the provincial crime reduction unit, which includes police officers from the New Brunswick RCMP and Fredericton Police Force.

Members of the Codiac crime reduction unit, New Brunswick integrated enforcement unit, Southeast District RCMP crime reduction unit, Southeast District RCMP general duty, RCMP police dog services, the national weapons enforcement support team and members from the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia RCMP clandestine lab teams assisted with the searches.