Crime Stoppers doubles reward for tips leading to fentanyl busts

In an effort to cut off the supply of dangerous opioids at its root, Crime Stoppers is doubling the reward it offers for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of fentanyl producers and traffickers.

Until May 31, 2017, the tip hotline will hand out $2,000 for solid tips, instead of $1,000.

Ottawa police Deputy Chief Steve Bell and Richard McMullen, chair of Crime Stoppers Eastern Ontario, announced details of the new reward at a media conference at police headquarters Thursday.

Experts say abuse of opioids in the capital has reached a crisis state, with Ottawa paramedics responding to at least 25 opioid overdoses so far in 2017.

'Mass casualties'

In February Ottawa police arrested 12 people suspected of distributing fake pills laced with fentanyl. 

The fentanyl seizure was the largest in Ottawa police history, said Staff Sgt. Rick Carey of the force's drug unit.

"We've seized thousands of pills today. So the potential there [was] for mass casualties," Carey told CBC News.

"We're trying to make sure this doesn't hit the street. Because who's it being accessed by? Youth that aren't aware as to what's going on."

Meanwhile concerned parents of Ottawa-area teenagers continue to attend community meetings in big numbers to learn more about the dangerous trend, and find ways to help their kids overcome addictions.