Myles Sanderson had high levels of cocaine in his system when he died

The details in this story are disturbing. Please read with care.

The man who killed 11 people in James Smith Cree Nation and Weldon, Sask., in September 2022 had high levels of cocaine in his system on the day he was captured by the RCMP and died.

Myles Sanderson, 32, had been on the run for several days when police caught up to him on Sept. 7, 2022. He went into medical distress during his arrest by the RCMP and was pronounced dead in hospital.

“There was so much cocaine there,” said forensic pathologist Dr. Shaun Ladham, describing the amount of the drug found in Sanderson’s body.

This was day two of the inquest into the in-custody death of Sanderson.

A 45-page report by the Saskatoon Police Service explained the process of investigating Sanderson’s death.

The report determined that the RCMP didn’t play a role in his death.

The Mounties used a “precision immobilization technique” maneuver to make contact with Sanderson’s vehicle sending him into the field beside the highway.

RCMP dashboard camera video played at the inquest shows Sanderson’s arrest after a high-speed chase.

According to testimony at the inquest, Sanderson was taken into custody at 3:30 p.m. During this time he made comments such as “Nobody even shot at me,” “You should have shot me, you f**king pig.” and “How many bodies are on me?”

Sanderson was armed with a knife which police took and put out of reach.

At 3:34 p.m. Sanderson began to convulse. When officers asked if he took anything, it is believed that he said “meth.” Shortly after these convulsions blood began to come out of Sanderson’s nose. A rolled-up $20 bill was found along with a white plastic bag containing a white substance which was later found to be cocaine.

As soon as Sanderson showed signs of medical distress, RCMP at the scene called for emergency medical services (EMS). RCMP began to administer naloxone while waiting for first responders. CPR was administered once Sanderson became unresponsive.

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According to Dr. Jennifer Bilinsky who works at the Roy Romanow Provincial Lab, the cocaine levels in his blood were at 6.5 mg/L which she said is the highest level she has seen in her ten years of working at the lab.

She also confirmed that the batch of cocaine Myles Sanderson used was 90 per cent weight purity which made the drug much more potent and in the large amounts Sanderson was taking, it could have contributed to the overdose.

The arresting officers are expected to testify on Wednesday along with emergency medical services technicians.

The inquest is expected to wrap up on Friday.

With files from Kelly Geraldine Malone – the Canadian Press 

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