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Officer intercepts fentanyl mailed to Edmonton prison inmate

The Edmonton Institution is a maximum security facility for male offenders in northeast Edmonton.
The Edmonton Institution is a maximum security facility for male offenders in northeast Edmonton. File/Global News

The Correctional Service of Canada says an officer intercepted a package of fentanyl that was mailed to an inmate at a federal maximum security prison in Alberta.

The deadly drug was found Wednesday on paper that was in a package sent to the Edmonton Institution.

“Fentanyl is extremely dangerous,” Assistant Warden Matt James said Friday.

“It wasn’t a pill, it wasn’t powder, it was incorporated into paper. It is quite sophisticated in how they try to get it into the institution.”

READ MORE: Grande Prairie RCMP issue warning after responding to 7 drug ODs in 15 hours

He said the fentanyl posed a threat to the health of inmates, staff and visitors inside the prison.

Watch below: Global’s ongoing coverage of the fentanyl crisis in Canada

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Inmates have overdosed on fentanyl in the past at other correctional facilities.

READ MORE: Councillors ask for updates on Edmonton’s fentanyl plan every 3 months

James said staff use ion scanners and specially trained dogs to detect drugs.

In this case it was a correctional officer who detected something wrong while checking the mail coming into the prison.

James said aside from concerns about the physical danger of fentanyl, any drugs coming into the prison can spark violence among inmates.

“If someone is using drugs and doesn’t have the money to pay for it–it creates a sub-culture that contributes to violence in the institution.”

James said police are investigating to determine who mailed the drugs.

Inmates have left no page unturned trying to get drugs into prisons.

In 2011, an inmate at the Bowden Institution in central Alberta pleaded guilty to possessing drug-soaked Bible pages.

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