UPDATE: Seized substance not bath salts but Phenacetin, RCMP say

Rosie
Rosie Gillingham
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Six men, including four from this province, charged with trafficking illegal drugs

Alex Prefontaine of Montreal, Rodney Noseworthy of Mount Pearl and Charlie Noftall are escorted out of provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday. They were three of six men charged with conspiring to traffic in illegal drugs after RCMP officers found a quantity of marijuana and 25 kilograms of what they believe is bath salts.
— Photo by Rosie Gillingham/The Telegram

The RCMP says an analysis of a substance seized Monday thought to be bath salts is actually Phenacetin, a substance prohibited under the Food and Drug Act.

On Monday, the St. John's RCMP Drug Section executed a search warrant where a powdered substance which has similar properties to "bath salts" was seized.

In consultation with the Crown, direction was received to lay a charge for "bath salts" but an analysis of the powder has determined it is actually Phenacetin, a substance that is prohibited under the Food and Drug Act.

Charges of conspiracy to traffick marijuana, conspiracy to traffick cocaine and trafficking marijuana are among the charges laid against six individuals, including:

• Tan Tai Huynh, 42 of Montreal;

• Alex Prefontaine, 31, of Morin-Heights;

• Charles Noftall, 35, of St. John's;

• Rodney Noseworthy, 36, of Mount Pearl;

• Uriah Alcock, 28, St. John's;

• Frank Whelan, 50, of North West Brook.

There is also two outstanding warrants of arrest for another male and a female.

The RCMP say the investigation is continuing.

The accused are all due back in court April 18.

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(Previous story)

It was an unusual spot to find illegal drugs.

But RCMP officers discovered 25 kilograms of what they suspect is bath salts — packaged in 50 baggies — in the fuel tank of a pickup truck in St. John’s Monday.

It’s believed to be one of the biggest seizures of bath salts in the province.

Police also seized a smaller amount of marijuana.

In all, six men — including four from this province — have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to traffic in illegal drugs.

Rodney Noseworthy of Mount Pearl, Uriah (a.k.a. Ray) Alcock and Charlie Noftall, both of St. John’s, and Frank Whalen of Northwest Brook, along with Tan Tai Huynh and Alex Prefontaine of Quebec, appeared in provincial court in St. John’s Tuesday afternoon.

Crown prosecutor Trevor Bridg­er agreed to have Noseworthy and Alcock released from custody — Noseworthy with a $20,000 cash deposit and Alcock with $3,000.

They’re due back in court April 18.

Noftall, Whalen and Prefontaine have a bail hearing scheduled for today. Huynh’s bail hearing is set for Friday.

The six were charged as a result of an RCMP drug investigation, dubbed Operation Baffle, which involved the bath salts trafficking conspiracy and a separate marijuana trafficking conspiracy.

Noseworthy is the only one to be charged in connection with both conspiracies.

Noseworthy, 36, Noftall, 35, Prefontaine, 31, and Huynh, 42, face three counts of conspiring to traffic in bath salts.

Noseworthy also faces three charges of conspiring to traffic in marijuana, along with Alcock, 28, and Whalen, 50.

The six men were arrested Monday in various parts of the capital city.

Besides the drugs, police also seized three vehicles, including the pickup truck in which officers found the bath salts.

Under the Criminal Code of Canada’s Drugs and Substances Act, bath salts is known as methylenedioxpyrovalerone (MDPV).

According to Health Canada, bath salts (also known as synthetic cathinones) are man-made designer drugs that produce both stimulant and hallucinogenic effects.

It’s often sold as white crystalline powders, but can also be sold as capsules or tablets.

It’s believed the men were selling bath salts as cocaine.

The drugs have been sent to the mainland for analysis to confirm they are bath salts. The investigation is ongoing.

 

rgillingham@thetelegram.com

Twitter: @TelyCourt

 

Organizations: RCMP, Health Canada

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Northwest Brook, Quebec Canada

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Recent comments

  • Fred from Brigus
    March 10, 2013 - 05:53

    Drugs are not the issue in NL the lack of law enforcement is. The laws and the courts are to lenient On this small island the courts should hand down stiff sentences for those convicted on drug offenses and create the toughest sentences in Canada so that no one would ever want to get caught doing drugs on the island. GOTTA GET TOUGH ON CRIME>.

  • ches
    March 08, 2013 - 08:18

    i am really sick of the media using these slang words like bath salts. it is just an attempt to stir up fear amongst the older generation by the police. if you used the proper chemical terms it would be more professional and would cut down on the fearmongering.

  • Danny
    March 07, 2013 - 20:04

    It is surprising things like this are going on here...amem!!

    • willy
      March 09, 2013 - 14:20

      Things like this have always been going on here from the bootlegging to the pcp labs of the seventies etc... you just don't know about it.

  • Not Good
    March 06, 2013 - 11:38

    I have seriously considered moving out of the province I was born and raised in, to get away from the drugs and crime problem, prosperity in this province has created. I'm scared for my children having to grow up in this environment. And it's only going to get worse before it ever gets better.

  • shannie mcgraph
    March 06, 2013 - 10:44

    Post the pictures of these drug dealers. parents, school teachers, beware of what is bringing this stuff to the island The best place for these people is on that Russian Cruise ship in nowhere land. Let them play with the rats on the ship! Thank Goodness this was found before it killed one of our own.