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23 people charged with drug-trafficking after 2 deaths, 14 overdoses in Georgina, Ont.

Investigators were initially concerned about a "very potent" blue fentanyl that was involved in many of the incidents. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

York Regional Police say they’ve charged 23 people with drug-trafficking offences after two deaths and 14 overdoses are believed to be connected to fentanyl in Georgina, Ont.

Between July 1 and Sept. 18, officers say they responded to an increase in calls related to drug overdoses in Georgina.

Read more: 2 pharmacists charged in opioid-trafficking investigation in Aurora

Investigators were initially concerned about a “very potent” blue fentanyl that was involved in many of the incidents.

In response to the community concerns, investigators began what they called Project Homecoming, which focused on stopping fentanyl and opioid trafficking in Georgina. The project began on Oct. 1 and ended on Wednesday.

During the investigation, police executed five search warrants and charged 23 people with drug-trafficking and other criminal offences.

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They also seized more than 77 grams of fentanyl, over 215 fentanyl patches, a large number of hydromorphone pills, 21 grams of cocaine, 12 grams of crystal methamphetamine and more than six kilograms of cannabis.

Read more: Drug- and gun-trafficking ring in Toronto area dismantled, police say

York Regional Police say fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine, and if mistaken for a less potent opioid, overdoses can occur.

“Overdosing on fentanyl leads to slow, irregular and shallow respirations, pinpoint pupils, muscle rigidity, seizures and unconsciousness,” police say.

“Two milligrams of pure fentanyl (the size of about four grains of salt) is enough to kill the average adult.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police #3 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7341, or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

Click to play video: 'Drug and gun trafficking ring dismantled in GTA, police say' Drug and gun trafficking ring dismantled in GTA, police say
Drug and gun trafficking ring dismantled in GTA, police say – May 22, 2020

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