New Westminster Police have charged a 19-year-old Vancouver man with drug trafficking after a New Westminster teen fatally overdosed in May.
A 16-year-old girl died on May 26 after taking what toxicology reports have since confirmed was pure MDMA. Another teenage girl was taken to hospital.
Staff Sgt. Andrew Perry confirmed that Muhammad Taufiq Chambas has been charged with one count of trafficking controlled substance in connection to the case.
The teen’s death was the first of two MDMA-linked overdose deaths in New Westminster this year.
On July 15, a 13-year-old girl overdosed on what is believed to be MDMA. She and a friend had purchased the drug, which is a form of ecstasy, at the 22nd Street SkyTrain Station. The teen overdosed as the pair were returning home to Port Coquitlam later that day and was pronounced dead at Royal Columbian Hospital.
According to Perry, a male youth was arrested on Aug. 24 but charges have yet to be laid. Perry could not confirm where the youth was from.
“We don’t have evidence to suggest they are linked but investigation is still ongoing,” said Perry.
He noted that this many fatal youth MDMA-related overdoses in one year in unusual for New Westminster.
“There’s a perception out there that it’s a fun party drug… but now we’ve had two young girls die within the last four months,” said Perry. “MDMA can still kill people, it’s not a safe drug by any means.”
According to Fraser Health, they do not track MDMA-related overdose numbers.