SIU clears Barrie Police, OPP, following jailhouse OD

Well-hidden fentanyl ingested while in lockup

Police have been cleared of culpability after a Barrie man overdosed in lockup.

The Ontario Provincial Police arrested a 44-year-old man as part of a drug raid at a motel in Barrie on December 2. After the OPP processed him, the man was handed over to the Barrie Police Service (BPS) which had an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Before being locked into a BPS cell, the man was searched and police say some cocaine and fentanyl were found. Unknown to police, there was more fentanyl to be found, but it was retrieved and ingested while the man was locked up.

Shortly after, he was transfered to the OPP in Bracebridge and began to appear unwell. He was then taken to hospital and treated for a drug overdose.

“The drugs appear to have been secreted within or on the man’s person and undiscoverable except perhaps via a strip or body cavity search, the grounds for which may not have existed, and the man’s time in BPS custody was very short, lasting no more than about an hour before he was transferred to the OPP,” said Special Investigations Unit Director Joseph Martino. “It is evident at this time that there is patently nothing to investigate as far as the potential criminal liability of any police officer is concerned in connection with the man’s overdose.”