Edmonton police charge two men in connection with major ketamine bust

EPS said officers seized about $90,000 worth of the drug ketamine from a home in northeast Edmonton on Jan. 21, 2016. COURTESY: Edmonton Police Service

EDMONTON- Two men are facing charges after police seized a large quantity of the street drug ketamine from a home in northeast Edmonton last week.

According to police, an investigation that lasted several weeks resulted in the seizure of 1,789 grams of ketamine at a home near 60 Street and 137 Avenue on Thursday.

The street value of the drugs taken is estimated to be around $90,000.

“This is one of the largest ketamine seizures the EPS has seen,” said EPS Const. Lisa Dack in an email to media. “We utilized several EPS resources and external agencies to deal with a community problem, which proved to be very successful.”

Edmonton police said the raid was conducted with the help of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Unit (SCAN).

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Jonathan Letendre, 37, was arrested on two outstanding warrants and is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and breach of probation.

Mark Semak, 29, is charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and breach of recognizance.

“The residents of this community have endured the negative impact that a property entrenched in illegal drug sales and usage bring to a neighbourhood,” Paul Hennig, an investigator with SCAN, said. “With the charges laid by the Edmonton Police Service, and the follow up work being conducted by SCAN, there is an end in sight.”

Ketamine is known by a number of different names on the street including K, ket, vitamin K or cat tranquilizers.

According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, ketamine is a fast-acting painkiller normally used in veterinary surgery but occasionally in human medicine.

The mind-altering drug has some similar side effects like PCP including a feeling that the mind is separated from the body and, when used illicitly, is usually snorted, injected or mixed in a drink.

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