Niagara Regional Police say three people are facing charges after a drug bust saw officers seize heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, hydromorphone pills and fentanyl powder, with a total street value of $5,300. Cash totalling just under $500 was also seized by investigators. The raid of the apartment on St. Paul Street and the appropriate arrests took place on March 23.
Adam Pringle, 28, of Toronto, has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking heroin, possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and three counts fail to comply with
Steven McColl, 29, of Welland has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking heroin, possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine, possession of fentanyl, resist arrest and fail to comply with probation.
Also charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking heroin, and possession for the purpose of trafficking methamphetamine was Jennifer Fellinger, a 29-year-old resident of Port Elgin.
Fentanyl and heroin are no strangers to headlines within the news. There is currently a fentanyl crisis sweeping within the province and even across the nation. From Brantford Police seizing $13,000 worth of fentanyl powder to weekly fentanyl overdoses in Hamilton, this is a growing problem. The number of people dying from fentanyl, which is 80 times more powerful than morphine, is astronomically climbing and municipalities are struggling to keep up. Earlier this month, Premier Kathleen Wynne made a plea to mayors across Ontario stating that they needed to begin sharing strategies regarding how to deal with the drug crisis.
The provincial government is preparing to support local plans dealing with overdose of fentanyl and other opioids. The province has already agreed to fund three supervised injection sites in Toronto, where back in 2016, there were about 250 overdose deaths.
In January, Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced that frequent drug users will now be able to inject doses at local health centres under the supervision of medical professionals, to help prevent overdoses and deaths.
Fentanyl can pause breathing and require life-saving medical attention within a few minutes. Due to the fact that this harmful drug is often being mixed with heroin, it is difficult for users to know whether fentanyl is in the drugs users are injecting. Ontario is now gathering data to track the drug usage.
Hoskins said that the idea of a meeting gathering all mayors and their health advisors on opioids would be an “important next step” to improving services.
“We’ll be able to talk about where the gaps are, where the local plans can dovetail with the provincial plan…” Wynne added.
-Loredana Del Bello, Assistant News Editor