“Notify”: Fentanyl wholesaler sentenced to 17 years in prison by Alberta judge

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CALGARY – An Alberta judge sentenced a former mayoral candidate to 17 years in prison after he was caught with a kilogram of potent fentanyls tucked away in cereal boxes.

Jonathan Sunstrum ran for Mayor of Calgary in the 2007 and 2013 citizen elections with less than 2,000 votes each.

He was arrested in January 2019 after a traffic stop near Canmore, Alta, during which police found about one kilogram of fentanyl in a hidden compartment in Sunstrum’s truck.

Police said it was 10 to 15 times more potent than what is normally sold on the streets in western Canada. There was enough fentanyl to make 820,000 single doses.

Also found was a chemical used in its manufacture and 4.5 grams of a substance containing fentanyl and benzodiazepine, a psychoactive drug.

Sunstrum was convicted of possession of fentanyl for human trafficking in January.

Judge Mark Tyndale said Sunstrum was apparently a very trustworthy member of a drug trafficking organization and the seizure was the third or fourth largest in Canada.

“Those who choose to trade fentanyl and related drugs in Alberta should be advised that their callous indifference to … Tyndale said Friday.

“The offense of trading in fentanyl in this quantity must be the most serious, and the degree of responsibility of Mr. Sunstrum, that is, his moral guilt, is very high.”

Tyndale admitted the penalty is higher than the norm but necessary as more than 1,100 Albertans died from opioid overdoses in 2020.

“The decision to sell this poison on our streets can only be seen as a conscious decision to put profit above human life,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on October 29, 2021.


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