07/24/2014 03:46 EDT | Updated 09/23/2014 05:59 EDT

'Bath salts' trafficker handed record 8 year sentence

A man from the Quebec City region has been sentenced to a record eight years in prison for producing and trafficking a notorious drug called "bath salts."

Methylenedioxypyrovalerone — also known as MDPV — has only been illegal since the fall of 2012.

Yesterday, Patrice Genest, 37, received the harshest sentence ever handed to a Canadian for an offence related to this drug.

Police describe the amphetamine-based powder as being 10 times more powerful than cocaine, sometimes causing hallucinations and violent behaviour.

A judge found Christine Gosselin guilty last year of running a trafficking network out of Sainte-Brigitte-de-Laval that spanned the Quebec City and Saguenay regions.

Genest also developed a new synthetic drug with new compounds that were not yet outlawed.

"We are in the presence of an individual who has shown no scruples to put a product on the market which he knows is harmful, for nothing more than to satisfy his monetary aspirations," wrote Gosselin.

The Crown prosecutor said she was satisfied with the sentence imposed by the judge — as bath salts are considered a schedule I substance under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, placing it in the same category as heroin and cocaine.

“This is important because it sends a clear message to people who intend to do the same thing as Mr. Genest," said Rioux.

According to Genest, he sold two to three kilograms of the drug every week, bringing in approximately $2,000 a day.

A Halifax man, Reginald Stewart, pleaded guilty in March last year, and was sentenced to 17 months' jail time.