September 11, 2019 3:16 pm

Montreal police arrest 24 in raids sparked by fentanyl overdoses

Montreal police say the raids took place Wednesday.

Stephen C. Host/The Canadian Press.

Montreal police have arrested 24 people in sweeping raids on Wednesday in connection with drug overdoses due to the deadly opioid fentanyl.

The sweep, which was carried out with the help of police forces in Longueuil, Quebec City and Granby, is part of the ongoing Asterios investigation.

Police say investigators also seized drugs and money in the greater Montreal area. They did not provide more information.

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The alleged suspects will appear by videoconference Wednesday at the Montreal courthouse. Police say more arrests are coming.

The police operation comes after a spike of fentanyl-related overdoses in Montreal in the summer of 2017. At the time, Montreal’s public health department also called for an action plan to fight the dangerous opioid.

“The SPVM then put various measures in place to curb the circulation of this extremely dangerous drug on the territory of Montreal,” police said in a statement.

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As part of the investigation, police carried out a series of arrests and raids within the Minotaures West, a motorcycle gang in Montreal related to the Hells Angels, in November 2018.

Police say each overdose case has been investigated to identify networks and individuals related to the trafficking and selling of fentanyl.

Anyone with information can contact police at the Info-Crime hotline at 514-393-1133. Police say information is treated confidentially.

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