A Calgary man has been charged after a large quantity of fentanyl, which police said had the potential to cause harm or even fatalities, was taken off the streets by the Calgary Police Service’s guns and gangs unit.
According to police, a suspect believed to be trafficking drugs through Calgary was identified in late 2018.
With the help of RCMP officers, a traffic stop was carried out just outside Canmore, Alta., in January 2019.
In their search of the vehicle, police found 1,001 grams of powdered fentanyl, 4.5 grams of a green substance which was later determined to be a mix of fentanyl, benzodiazepine and caffeine, as well as 11.1 grams of a Class A precursor, commonly used in making fentanyl.
Officers also found a small amount of money and multiple cellphones in the car.
The fentanyl seized was sent for analysis and detectives say it was found to be “highly potent.”
“The powdered fentanyl is believed to be approximately 10 to 15 times more pure than what is typically sold at the street-level in Western Canada,” police said in a media release.
On April 10, investigators conducted a search of a home in the 0-100 block of Rosery Drive N.W. and arrested a man.
Jonathan Joseph Sunstrum, 58, was charged with three counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession for use in the production of a controlled substance.
“The fentanyl seized in this investigation had the potential to cause significant harm to our community and could have resulted in countless deaths,” Staff Sgt. Greg Cooper said in a media release.
“The fentanyl powder is some of the most potent that we’ve seized, and had the ability to be worth $2.5 million to $4.1 million if cutting agents were used to dilute the drug to a level consistent with what’s being sold on the street.
“If pressed into pill form, the value would have been even higher.”
Investigators are still working to determine the origin and intended destination of the drugs seized as they continue their investigation.
Sunstrum is due in court on May 10.