Shawn Kelly Jr., 23, died of a fentanyl overdose in April in Innisfil, Ontario, Canada, about an hour's drive north of Toronto. South Simcoe police began investigating immediately. Within a few days they arrested one man for trafficking. A few weeks later they arrested another for the same offence, reports the Vancouver Sun.
In late August they lowered the boom, laying manslaughter charges against the pair for Kelly's death. Kelly's mother Denise Lane recalls feeling happy when she learned of the development.
"My son didn't deserve to die, he didn't deserve for these people to sell him this s–t and for me to wake up in the morning to find him dead," says Lane. "Shawny may have held a gun to his own head, but the people that sold it to him are the ones that pulled the trigger."
Several forces and prosecutors across Canada are now laying manslaughter charges against those who allegedly supplied fentanyl to people who overdosed and died. For South Simcoe police, laying such charges is partly about sending a message to dealers of the powerful opioid.
"We're trying to show that when we have the information, we're going to pursue the people providing this because it's causing death in our communities," says Det. Sgt. Brad Reynolds, who oversaw the investigation into Kelly's death.