Charges have been laid after $3.6 million worth of drugs were found at a residence in what police are calling the largest seizure of fentanyl in Niagara history.
According to investigators, a suspect was stopped by Ontario Provincial Police on Feb. 4 for allegedly driving 160 km/hr in a 100km/hr zone on the Queen Elizabeth Way in Lincoln, Ont.
When officers searched the vehicle, they found 1,025 fentanyl tablets, 25 grams of cocaine and $1,400 in cash.
Following further investigation, detectives executed search warrants at three residences in the town of Lincoln and the cities of St. Catharines and Niagara Falls.
Police say they found a “massive fentanyl pill production operation” at the residence in Niagara Falls. According to investigators, the double garage had been 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,” Niagara police said in a news release issued Friday. “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 was seized.”
“The illicit pills were packaged in bottles intended to look like legitimate prescription medications and pose the threat of serious harm or death,” investigators added.
Police say the estimated street value of the drugs was about $3.6 million, making it the largest seizure of fentanyl in Niagara history.
St. Catharines resident Peter Caponcini, 56, has been charged in connection with the incident. He is facing numerous offences, including possession of a controlled substance to wit Fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a controlled substance to wit cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possessing the proceeds of a crime under $5,000, and production of a controlled drug or substance.
Caponcini is being held in custody pending a bail hearing. The charges have not been proven in court.February 6, 2021