Hundreds of fentanyl tablets were seized from an accused dealer by the RCMP in April. (Submitted photo/RCMP)

Whitehorse RCMP confiscated package of 535 fentanyl tablets in April

Jibril Hosh Jibril, 26, charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking in June

An accused fentanyl dealer is making another court appearance in Whitehorse Aug. 16, months after Whitehorse RCMP confiscated a package containing hundreds of fentanyl tablets.

In April, the RCMP intercepted a “suspicious package” in the Whitehorse area investigators believe “was destined for a location outside of the Yukon.” Lab tests confirmed the package contained 535 fentanyl tablets, according to an RCMP press release.

RCMP arrested Jibril Hosh Jibril, 26, in Whitehorse June 30 and charged him with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. He’s made “several” court appearances since then and remains in custody.

Police said Jibril has held a number of addresses across Canada and has had run-ins with the law before.

Jibril has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking offences before in several other provinces, including British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Whitehorse RCMP did not issue a news release following either finding the package or Jibril’s arrest, only doing so after being asked by the News about reports of a fentanyl bust earlier this summer.

Fentanyl is a powerful, highly addictive synthetic opioid often described as 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Originally developed as a painkiller for people battling cancer or other ailments, fentanyl has found its way into the recreational drug supply and contributed to what’s become known as the opioid crisis. There are also reports of it being mixed in with other drugs and causing overdoses — some of them fatal — in unsuspecting users.

Between April 2016 and May 2017, there were five confirmed fentanyl-related deaths in the Yukon. In British Columbia, one of the provinces hit hardest by the opioid crisis, there were 525 fatal fentanyl overdoses between January 2017 and May 2017 alone, according to a coroner’s service report.

The effects of an opioid overdose can be reversed almost immediately by another drug, naloxone. Free take-home naloxone kits are available at pharmacies, the Kwanlin Dün First Nation Health Centre, Blood Ties Four Directions, and Taiga Medical Clinic.

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

CORRECTION: The subheadline for this story orginally included the wrong criminal acharge.

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