B.C. man accused of dark web fentanyl trafficking linked to U.S. Navy deaths: RCMP

·2 min read

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia man has been indicted on U.S. federal charges for allegedly trafficking fentanyl over the dark web that resulted in the deaths of two American navy sailors.

RCMP say in a news release they began their investigation in 2017 as part of joint crime probe into an internet drug trafficking operation operated by a person with the online name Canada1.

Mounties say an American investigation into separate fentanyl overdose deaths of the sailors led authorities to discover packaging material allegedly linked to Canada1.

Police say they went to a home in West Vancouver in March 2018 to arrest a B.C. man and a British resident, and seized a large quantity of fentanyl.

Police say since the most serious offence is alleged to have happened in the United States, it was decided the prosecution would take place in the state of Georgia and both men are in custody awaiting extradition proceedings in their countries.

The American indictment alleges the men conspired to import drugs from China and Hungary to distribute across the United States, and they have been charged with trafficking and money laundering.

Thomas Cannizzo, a special agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, says the importation of illicit narcotics into the United States poses a significant threat.

“Upon initiating this investigation, NCIS quickly recognized the incredible benefit of our valued collaboration with U.S. and international law enforcement partners. We are grateful for their extraordinary efforts to bring to justice those responsible for importing and distributing the illicit narcotics that led to the tragic overdose deaths of two U.S. Sailors,” Cannizzo says in a statement issued by the Department of Justice in Georgia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2022

The Canadian Press

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