Record seizure of carfentanyl | Twelve years in prison for a Montrealer

Carfentanyl is so dangerous that even a grain of salt is deadly. Jamaal McKenzie trafficked nearly 2kg of this opioid, which is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. An “unprecedented” crowd in Quebec. The Montreal human trafficker was sentenced to 12 years in prison last Monday.

Posted at 7:00 am

Louis Samuel Perron

Louis Samuel Perron
The press

It was the largest carfentanyl seizure in Quebec’s history. Investigators from the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM) had just completed their search when they came face to face with human trafficker Jamaal McKenzie in the lobby of the Crescent Street building in April 2021. This is this 42-year-old Montrealer who “controlled” this drug depot. He was arrested on the spot.


Jamal McKenzie

In this apartment near the Fine Arts Museum, investigators seized countless lethal doses of carfentanyl, an opioid 100 times stronger than fentanyl. Carfentanyl is used, among other things, by veterinarians to sedate elephants. In addition to half a kilo of mixed fentanyl, the dealers made 1.765 kg of carfentanyl, part of which was mixed with etizolam, a sedative.

Photo François Roy, DIE PRESSE

Facade of the building at 1420 Crescent Street, site of Jamaal McKenzie’s cache

The drug was worth $1.4 million on the black market at the time, he wrote The press last year. Police have also been able to link Jamaal McKenzie’s network of traffickers to at least a dozen red heroin overdoses that have occurred in downtown Montreal in recent months, it has been revealed The press.

To put the extent of the seizure into context, police were delighted to get their hands on 85g of fentanyl in the summer of 2020. It was then the second largest fentanyl seizure in Montreal since 2017. Just 2 mg (0.002 g) of fentanyl or even less is enough to cause death.

“Carfentanyl is 100 times more potent than fentanyl. There is no precedent for such an amount of carfentanyl in Quebec,” said Crown Prosecutor Ms.e Jean-Philippe MacKay, at the Montreal courthouse last Monday. “Fortunately,” said judge Hélène Morin.


Drug confiscated from Crescent Street cache

Fentanyl and carfentanyl are a scourge in the United States and western Canada. But these opioids are also increasingly present in Quebec. These cheap opioids, often mixed with other drugs like heroin without the knowledge of the consumer, lead to many overdoses.

About 20 Canadians die every day from opioid poisoning. According to Health Canada, 86% of those deaths between January and September 2021 involved fentanyl. In Quebec alone, there will be 450 opioid poisoning-related deaths in 2021, an increase in two years, authorities said.

“A very, very reasonable sentence”

“That’s a very, very reasonable sentence. I’m sure you understand, Mr. McKenzie,” said Judge Hélène Morin. The judge went along with the lawyers’ joint proposal by sentenced the 42-year-old Montrealer to 12 years in prison after his guilty plea.

However, given his criminal record, the sentence could have been “much higher,” Judge Morin said. However, she is bound by the lawyers’ proposal. Taking preventive detention into account, he has about 10 years and 3 months in prison.

“I don’t know this business. It just so happened that I fell in the face of it,” explained Jamaal McKenzie in English, answering a question from the judge. The accused was represented by Mr.e Jose Guede.

Jamaal McKenzie was sentenced to six and a half years in prison in the United States in 2013 in a “grandparent cheating” case. According to an FBI press release, the Montrealer and his accomplices pocketed $840,000 by scamming at least 39 victims across several American states.

Also accused in this case, Eddwich Simon, 35, a Laval resident, was sentenced to 90 days in prison last February, to be served over the weekend. A third defendant, Curtis Harris, 38, was back in court Tuesday. The latter, according to the facts admitted by Jamaal McKenzie, was responsible for the fentanyl trade.

Learn more

  • 7224
    Number of apparent opioid poisoning deaths between April 2020 and March 2021 in Canada

    Source: Health Canada

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