Niagara Regional Police report that they have had the biggest single seizure of Fentanyl in Niagara’s history.
An investigation started in January of this year by the Major Drug and Gang Unit, with assistance from the Intelligence Unit and as a result, detectives were able to identify a male suspect.
On February 4th, 2021, the suspect was stopped by the OPP for allegedly stunting, at a speed of 160 km/h in a 100km/h zone on the QEW in Lincoln. A subsequent search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of 1025 fentanyl tablets, 25 grams of cocaine and $1400.00 in currency.
As a result, detectives executed warrants at a residence in the area of Rykert and Louth Street, in St. Catharines, a residence in the area of Prince William Street and Queen Victoria Avenue, in Lincoln, and a residence in the area of Scholfield Road and Olden Avenue, in the City of Niagara Falls.
The residence in the area of Scholfield and Olden was searched and found to contain a massive fentanyl pill production operation. The double garage area of the residence had been extensively modified to accommodate an industrial size pill press.
Due to the mass quantity of fentanyl and related materials present, the OPP’s Clandestine Lab Investigation Response Team (CLIRT) was requested to assist with the safe dismantling of the site.
Detectives seized over 400lbs of an unknown powder, 100kgs of cutting agents, 20,000 fentanyl pills, 160 grams of cocaine and $150,000 in equipment . In all, the estimated street value of the drugs seized is approximately $3.6 million dollars.
The illicit pills were packaged in bottles intended to look like legitimate prescription medications and pose the threat of serious harm or death.
Peter Caponcini (56 years old) of St. Catharines, was arrested and charged with the following offences of:
• 2 counts Possession of a controlled substance to wit Fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking – Section 5(2) CDSA
• Possession of a controlled substance to wit Cocaine for the purpose of trafficking – Section 5(2) CDSA
• Possession of proceeds of crime Under $5000 – Section 355(b) CC
• Production – Section 7(1) CDSA
Caponcini is currently being held in custody pending a bail hearing on Tuesday February 9, 2021 via video at the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse in St. Catharines.
I am immensely proud of the collaborative policing effort that has resulted in the substantial removal of these illicit and deadly drugs from the streets of Niagara. The health and safety of our community and residents is our top priority and this criminal activity will not be allowed to flourish in Niagara” said Chief of Police Bryan MacCulloch.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Niagara Regional Police at 905-688-4111, ext. 1009346.