12 new charges against Kenneth Law, accused of selling deadly substance

12 new charges against Kenneth Law, accused of selling deadly substance
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Police are set to provide an update today in the case of an Ontario man accused of selling a lethal substance to individuals at risk of self-harm. Kenneth Law appears in court in Brampton, Ont., Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in an artist's sketch.

Content warning: This story contains details that may be distressing to some readers.

An Ontario man accused of mailing a lethal substance to people at risk of self-harm is facing 12 new charges, police announced Tuesday in a case being investigated globally.

Kenneth Law now faces a total of 14 charges of counselling and aiding suicide in deaths across Ontario, police said.

The investigation remains “very active and very complex,” said York Regional Police Insp. Simon James.

“Let us be clear: we will not tolerate criminal actions by those who prey on vulnerable individuals in our communities,” said James, the case manager of a major joint investigation between 11 police forces in Ontario probing Law’s alleged operation.

Police have alleged Law, a 57-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., used a series of websites to market and sell sodium nitrite, a common preservative that’s deadly at high levels, alongside other items used in cases of self-harm.

He is suspected of sending at least 1,200 packages to more than 40 countries, police have said.

Authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia and New Zealand have all announced their own investigations.

“We are co-operating and sharing information with law enforcement on a global scale,” James said at Tuesday’s news conference in Mississauga.

The update came after British police revealed last week they are investigating the deaths of 88 people in the U.K. who bought products from Canadian-based websites linked to Law.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said it has identified 232 people in the U.K. who bought products from the websites in the two years prior to this April, 88 of whom had died.

Law was arrested in May after Peel Regional Police connected his alleged operation to two local deaths.

James, the York Regional Police inspector, said the victims identified in Ontario were between the ages of 16 and 36.

“We offer our sincerest condolences to those we have lost due to these unimaginable set of circumstances,” he said at Tuesday’s news conference.

Of the charges police announced Tuesday, four were in Toronto, one was in the Peel Region, three were in the York Region, one was in the Durham Region, one was in London, Ont., one was in Thunder Bay, Ont., and one was in the Waterloo region.

Fakiha Baig, The Canadian Press

– with files from Jordan Omstead. 

This story includes discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, support is available 24/7 by calling Talk Suicide Canada (1-833-456-4566) or, for residents of Quebec, 1 866 APPELLE (1-866-277-3553).

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 29, 2023.

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