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article imageToronto doctor among those arrested in Fentanyl trafficking ring

By Karen Graham     Apr 6, 2016 in Crime
Seven people, including a Toronto family doctor have been arrested in what the York Regional Police allege was a fentanyl trafficking ring.
The arrests were the culmination of an investigation that started in October of 2015, reports CTV News Canada, after it was discovered that fentanyl patches were being obtained illegally and transported to the Sudbury area to be sold.
Investigators allege that Dr. George Otto and Ms. Shereen El Azrak, who run a family practice in Toronto, were working alongside street-level dealers in obtaining and distributing fentanyl patches, Metro News Canada.
Police also executed search warrants on a number of different properties, including a hotel room in Vaughan and a pharmacy in Toronto.
The fentanyl patches have a street value of from $300 to $500 per patch, according to what the police are alleging. As a result of the investigation, police confiscated nearly 300 of the patches and $50,000 in cash, as well as prescription notes and other documents. Drug users may cut or otherwise manipulate the fentanyl patches or smoke a gel form of the drug.
Fentanyl is an opioid-based painkiller that is said to be 100 times more potent than morphine. Because of its potency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say it is more likely to cause an overdose than heroin or prescription painkillers, reports PEW.
Canada has seen an increase in the number of deaths from overdoses on fentanyl recently. There were also a number of arrests tied to the investigation on January 20, 2016. The suspects were taken without incident.
Those accused and taken into custody include Liridon Imerovik, 25, of Vaughan; Sophia Zegas, 23, of Vaughan; Sean Holmes, 30, of Greater Sudbury; Alexandra Boudreau, 26, of Greater Sudbury; Omar El Azrak, 30, of Toronto; George Otto, 57, of Richmond Hill; and Shereen El Azrak, 37, of Toronto.
The accused have been charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking. They were scheduled to appear in a Newmarket courthouse today.
More about fentanyl patches, toronto family doctor, Drug trafficking, controlled substance, York Regional Police
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