‘New breed of Percocet’ causing overdoses, accused drug dealer told police

 

A Fredericton man on trial for drug trafficking in connection with a pill containing fentanyl that was found in Esgenoôpetitj First Nation last spring told police a “new breed of Percocet” was causing people to overdose, the courtroom heard  Thursday.

CBC Canada reports

Jesse Joe, 35, admitted during a statement to police that he’d been in possession of blue Percocet pills, said Crown prosecutor Caroline Lirette.

Joe told RCMP “shit started happening” on April 8, the first day he returned to his home community of Esgenoôpetitj, and four people “dropped” after he got back, said Lirette.

On April 11, a woman suffered a fatal overdose in the community east of Miramichi.

Police later seized a blue pill that had “Percocet 5” written on it.

A Health Canada analysis confirmed the pill contained fentanyl, a prescription painkiller the agency has described as being about 100 times more powerful than morphine.

When Joe was charged, police said several people from Esgenoôpetitj had been hospitalized for suspected overdoses of fentanyl.

Police were still awaiting toxicology results in the fatal overdose on April 11 of  Ann Marie Lambert, the 35-year-old mother of a young son, they said at the time.

Drug

An analysis conducted by Health Canada confirmed a blue pill seized by the RCMP on the Esgenoôpetitj First Nation contained fentanyl. (RCMP)

Joe’s statement to police was admitted into evidence on Thursday morning, the second day of his trial at Miramichi provincial court trial.

Judge Geri Mahoney ruled following a voir dire that the statement was admissible. Police neither threatened him to get the statement, nor made promises of a reduced sentence, the judge said.

The trial was scheduled to continue on Aug. 30 and 31, but wrapped up on Thursday.

A date for a decision will be set on Aug. 30 at 9:30 a.m.

Joe is also scheduled to face a bail hearing on Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. on seven new charges. They include trafficking in fentanyl, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, three counts of trafficking in a controlled substance, as well as obstruction of justice and breach of probation.

The Crown has declined to comment on whether those charges are related to the overdoses in Esgenoôpetitj.

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