Christopher Phillips charged with possessing osmium tetroxide, threatening police
WATCH: Ross Lord has the details on the charges Christopher Phillips is facing for possessing a rare chemical.
HALIFAX – A Nova Scotia man has been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon in connection with the discovery of hazardous materials and evacuations in Halifax and Ottawa.
Police allege Christopher Phillips, who was arrested at an Ottawa hotel Wednesday, possessed osmium tetroxide for a purpose either dangerous to the public or for the purpose of committing an offence.
Osmium tetroxide is a rare and expensive toxic chemical used as a staining agent for biological samples. Exposure to its vapours can damage the cornea of the eye, while chronic exposure can result in liver and kidney damage. At high concentrations, inhaling it can result in death.
Phillips, 42, was also charged with uttering threats to police between Dec. 26, 2014 and Jan. 21, 2015.
He was initially detained in Ottawa on a Canada-wide arrest warrant, and arrived back in Nova Scotia by plane around 4 p.m. Thursday.
RCMP said he will appear in court on Friday morning.
Ottawa police said they did not find hazardous materials in the hotel, but confirmed the investigation was linked to evacuations in Halifax where such materials were discovered.
People in two areas of the Halifax Regional Municipality were told to leave their homes Tuesday after RCMP said they received a call about a suspicious package at a Cole Harbour home the previous night.
Police discovered hazardous chemicals at two of three homes they searched, and are still in the process of removing a large quantity of them from a location in Grand Desert, N.S. where an evacuation order was expected to remain in effect through Thursday night.
Two chemists from Health Canada are scheduled to visit the site Thursday to help determine what chemicals were found by police.
Read the court filing below:
Meanwhile, a company linked to Phillips’ wife issued a statement early Thursday to say the suspect does not work for its network of sleep disorder clinics.
A statement from Dr. Adam Blackman, president of MedSleep, said Phillips’ wife Dr. Gosia Phillips is the medical director of MedSleep Atlantic—which has one clinic in Dartmouth.
Phillips’s LinkedIn profile lists him as the manager of Neurology and Sleep Medicine Associates Inc. in the Halifax area. The company’s address — 43 Parkedge Cr. — is one of the homes being investigated by the RCMP.
With files from Bryan Mullan, Global News and The Canadian Press
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