Drug overdoses on the rise across northwestern Ontario

Police briefs

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) are warning the public of the recent increase in drug overdoses in the North West Region. Concerns have been raised that there could be a potential batch of fatal street drugs circulating in the area.

Fentanyl is an extremely potent synthetic opioid. You can’t see it. You can’t smell it. You can’t taste it. Fentanyl can be lethal in small quantities. If someone’s drug choice is mixed with or contains fentanyl, it can potentially kill them,” said Detective Staff Sgt. Curtis Peckford

If you count the two recent suspected overdoses in the North West Region on the 8th of September that brings the total number of fatal overdoses to 10 since January 2021. In addition there have been a total of 73 non-fatal overdoses where emergency responders or the public have administered Naloxone to save the victim’s life.

With the rise of overdose deaths in the region police are warning residents that if you sell opioids to someone and they die, you can face charges of manslaughter or criminal negligence causing death.

 “We will hold those people who are trafficking these harmful substances in our communities accountable for these deaths. Anytime that we disrupt a criminal operation, we send a very clear message that police will identify and aggressively pursue those individuals who threaten the safety of our citizens.” Chief Superintendent Bryan MacKillop

The current overdose investigations are ongoing under the direction of the Northwest Region Crime Unit.

Members of the public with information regarding the trafficking of illegal street drugs are asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or can provide information anonymously by calling Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Online information can be provided at ontariocrimestoppers.ca


(FORT FRANCES, ON) – On September 10, 2021, officers of the Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) conducted a traffic stop involving a 2008 grey Chevrolet SUV resulting in a male driver being arrested and charged with two criminal charges.

A 43 year old Winnipeg man has been charged with the following offences: Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime under $5000; Trafficking a schedule 1 controlled substance (cocaine).

The accused was released on an Undertaking. He is scheduled to attend Fort Frances Provincial Court on October 25, 2021 at 09:30 am.


(FORT FRANCES, ON) – On Sunday September 5, 2021, at 23:00 hrs, Richard CHABOT, age 41 years of Fort Frances, ON was reported missing to the Rainy River District Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

Police initiated their missing person investigation after family and friends reported concern for CHABOT’s well-being. CHABOT was last seen by family members on Friday September 3, 2021 around 15:00hrs while walking his dog in Fort Frances, ON.

On Monday September 6, 2021, police investigation confirmed Chabot had purchased a bus ticket for Thunder Bay. Thunder Bay Police Service, Regional OPP Detachments and surrounding Canadian and United States of America (USA) policing agencies were notified as per standard police investigative processes. Family and friends began to post information on social media offering a description of CHABOT.

On Monday September 6, 2021, a member of the public contacted police regarding a possible sighting of CHABOT between 1430 and 1530 hrs. Police attended and spoke to the witness to verify information. The witness was able to provide police with a photograph of a person matching CHABOT’s description after observing a post on social media. Police retrieved the photo and confirmed with family members that the male in the picture was Richard CHABOT. From the photo, CHABOT is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 230-240 pounds, bald, wearing a black leather vest and light blue jeans. The witness was uncertain when or how CHABOT left the Dryden property.

As of September 14, 2021, OPP officers have been in contact with CHABOT’s family. They would like to thank the public for their assistance. The family is satisfied with police action and have been in contact with CHABOT. While his intentions or destination is not known, the family believes he is healthy and is not in any immediate distress. As per police policy, police investigation remains on-going. Officers will continue to follow up on investigative leads. Canada-wide zone alerts and the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) “missing person” entry will remain in place until such time, CHABOT’s location and well-being is verified in-person by police.

If members of the public have any information about this investigation or the exact whereabouts of Richard CHABOT, they are asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2000. You may also report online at: http://www.p3tips.com/273.


(Kenora, ON)-Opioid overdoses are claiming the lives of thousands of people across Ontario and are steadily increasing. The statistics and numbers related to overdoses do not capture the profound distress being felt by those impacted. Observers may hesitate to call 911 in fear of police involvement. To encourage people to seek life-saving assistance the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Kenora is launching the Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act (GSDOA) public awareness campaign.

The OPP is upholding its commitment to the Ontario Mobilization and Engagement Model of Community Policing and is using a collaborative approach to disseminate this public awareness campaign. Partnering with other community organizations will help the OPP better connect with people that are directly impacted by this Act.

The OPP has created posters, information cards and community safety videos to help educate the public and community agenciesThese resources as well as other additional information about the GSDOA can be found by visiting: www.opp.ca/overdose and OPP social media accounts.

The law does provide protection against charges for:

· Possessing drugs for your own use

· Violating conditions of your parole, bail, probation or conditional sentence for a simple drug possession charge

The law does not provide protection against charges for:

· Trafficking illegal drugs

· Offences other than drug possession

· Any outstanding arrest warrants

· Violating conditions of your parole, bail, probation or conditional sentence for an offence that is not simple possession