Pubdate: Thu, 02 Mar 2017
Source: Sun Times, The (Owen Sound, CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 Owen Sound Sun Times
Author: Peter Cameron
Page: A2


Ontario Crime Stoppers organizations offering $1,000 for information

In an effort to get the deadly opioid fentanyl off the streets,
certain Crime Stoppers organizations in Ontario are offering a $1,000
bounty for information that leads to seizure of illicit forms of the

Const. Dana Edwards says Durham Regional Crime Stoppers began the
program on Wednesday and is offering the reward to anyone whose tips
directly result in the seizure of illegal fentanyl, or its
derivatives, that is being trafficked.

Edwards says the program, which will run through the end of April,
will also pay the reward for information leading to the arrest of
fentanyl traffickers.

It's not the first time Crime Stoppers in Ontario has offered a reward
to stem the spread of fentanyl - Near North Crime Stoppers in North
Bay, Ont., ran a similar campaign late last year and
Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka Crime Stoppers, in the Barrie, Ont., area is
in the middle of a two-month reward program.

Fentanyl - a drug prescribed for chronic pain management - is roughly
100 times more potent than morphine and about 40 times stronger than
heroin. It produces a drug high but also depresses the body's rate of
respiration, which can cause breathing to stop - a dose of just two
milligrams of pure fentanyl can be lethal.

Jean Lemieux of Near North Crime Stoppers says they consider a $1,000
fentanyl reward that was offered in November and December a success.
Lemieux says they received about two dozen tips and paid out two rewards.

"The seizures were smaller in nature," Lemieux said Wednesday. "It had
an impact on the community."

The North Bay police street crime unit approached Crime Stoppers
because fentanyl was gaining in popularity in the area and the board
decided to offer a limited-time reward, he said.

"It was very successful," Lemieux said.

In Durham region, east of Toronto, Edwards said the increased
prevalence of fentanyl prompted them to try the reward program.

"In 2016, we did have nine deaths that were confirmed related to
fentanyl overdoses," she said. "It's being used in a lot of other
drugs and people aren't aware that it's in there and it's turned out
to be a real concern for police as well as members of the public."

Edwards said they get a lot of drug-related tips but they're hoping
the project "encourages people to call us and provide that information
for who is trafficking the narcotic."

Barrie Police Chief Kimberley Greenwood has said the
Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka-Crime-Stoppers initiative was designed as
"another tool to combat the current fentanyl and opioid epidemic."

Last week, Ontario Provincial Police announced the seizure of
thousands of fentanyl-laced pills they described as "potential doses
of death" and nearly two dozen guns along with the arrests of 18
people in an international investigation into organized crime.

"By dismantling a criminal operation of this magnitude, we've
literally prevented more than 11,000 doses of death of fentanyl and
illegal guns from killing people in our communities," OPP Deputy
Commissioner Rick Barnum said at the time.

"We have audio recordings of drug traffickers who callously admitted
that the enormous profits that can be made from fentanyl far outweighs
the potential overdose deaths that can come about as a result of them
dealing these drugs."
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