Public warned of lethal drug being sold online after arrest of Mississauga man


Published May 3, 2023 at 2:01 pm

Peel police shooting in Brampton

The alleged online sale of a deadly substance to people in Mississauga and reportedly to others in as many as 40 countries around the world has prompted police in Peel to issue a public safety advisory.

Peel Regional Police issued the advisory this afternoon (May 3) in the wake of the arrest earlier this week of a Mississauga man who’s suspected of selling chemicals that were later used by buyers to kill themselves.

“Peel Regional Police have commenced an investigation into the distribution of a lethal substance called sodium nitrite,” the advisory reads. “It is a chemical substance commonly used as a food additive. However, when ingested in certain quantities, it can cause hazardous effects and potentially lead to death.”

Police add that if anyone receives a package they suspect may contain the substance, they are to call police immediately.

“We ask that the public be cautious and vigilant of online activities,” the police advisory continues, noting payment or transactions related to the following companies should be deemed suspicious, and reported to police:

  • Imtime Cuisine
  • AmbuCA
  • Academic/ACademic
  • Escape Mode/escMode
  • ICemac

Police have charged Kenneth Law, 57, of Mississauga, with two counts of counselling or aiding suicide. They’d been investigating him since March 31 after a sudden death caused by the consumption of chemicals.

Peel police Deputy Chief Marc Andrews confirmed that two victims have so far been identified.

Investigators say a man marketed and sold sodium nitrite online, targeting people at risk of self-harm. They believe he sold it under the brands listed in their public safety advisory.

Sodium nitrite is a white, crystalline substance used in very low doses to speed up the curing of meats. It also gives the meat a pink colour.

The chemical can be sold online, and its links to suicide have been known for years. Its use can reduce oxygen levels, impair breathing and, ultimately, cause death.

Law has previously been linked to suicide deaths in the United Kingdom. The Times of London ran a story a couple of weeks prior to his arrest alleging one of their reporters purchased sodium nitrite from him.

However, Andrews could not comment on any ongoing British law enforcement investigation.

He did confirm, though, that there have been 1,200 shipments to over 40 countries, but could not “categorically confirm” all of them contained sodium nitrite.

Meanwhile, the OPP says packages of sodium nitrite may have been sent out across Ontario. They believe the parcels may have gone out to a dozen communities across the province and many more globally.

Police say there may be more victims.

Anyone with information pertinent to the investigation is urged to call police at 1-888-714-0003 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

–with files from Liam McConnell

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