Joint Investigation Takes Down International Drug Ring
Nine Charged; Illegal Drugs Removed From Supply
TORONTO, Sept. 25, 2013 /CNW/ - Eleven Ontario residents face numerous charges following a lengthy investigation involving an international network trafficking in illegal drugs.
On September 24, 2013, police executed eight (8) search warrants at residences and businesses across the Greater Toronto Area, including addresses in Mississauga, Toronto, Markham, Stouffville, Newmarket and Oshawa.
At a news conference today, OPP Commissioner Chris Lewis, Toronto Police Service Deputy Chief Mark Saunders and Mr. Goran Vragovic of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) revealed details of Project INFINITY.
Project INFINITY began in 2010, following several seizures of controlled substances destined for Canada by the CBSA as well as agencies from other jurisdictions. These substances were being shipped from India, Pakistan, Peru, and Guatemala. The investigation utilized an undercover police agent and undercover police officer. Investigators seized quantities of illegal drugs worth approximately $79-million to high-level distributors, adding the value of the illegal drugs is more like $200-million once the drugs are cut for retail in local communities. The drugs seized include 24-kilograms of heroin, and quantities of cocaine, opium, crystal methamphetamine, and ephedrine - which is used to make crystal meth and ecstasy.
During yesterday's search warrants, more illegal drugs, the pre-cursor chemical red phosphorus and thousands of over-the-counter antihistamines were recovered as well as assets seized as proceeds of crime - including approximately $538,000 cash, and six (6) vehicles. One spinoff investigation saw two (2) kilograms of heroin seized and resulted in charges against six (6) people who are already before the courts.
This investigation was conducted in partnership with the Toronto Police Service Drug Squad - Major Project Section and the Canada Border Service Agency.
Eleven (11) people - ranging in age from 24-48 years - have been charged with 76 offences under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act. (See PROJECT INFINITY -- ADDENDUM OF CHARGED PERSONS on the Media Resources Page at this link).
All of the accused persons are expected to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Toronto (Old City Hall) on September 25, 2013.
Media resources, including the Project INFINITY - Addendum of Charged Persons, video b-roll of a transfer involving illegal drugs, digital still photos of evidence seized, and background information, can be found at this link: Media Resources Page
"The reduction in crime is, in part, due to the pro-active work undertaken to prevent crime before it occurs. This joint investigation means hundreds of millions of dollars have been taken out of a criminal enterprise and prevented illegal drugs from getting into the hands of our young people." - Chris Lewis, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police
"Project Infinity is yet another example of how effective law enforcement is at working together to target and tackle criminality." - Deputy Chief Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Service.
"Criminal enterprises attempting to smuggle prohibited goods into Canada will continue to face the combined efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies partnering together to stop illegal narcotics from reaching our communities. Our vigilant border services officers are skilled professionals who specialize in detecting and seizing prohibited goods at the border. The work they do on a daily basis plays a vital role in protecting the safety and security of all Canadians." - Mr. Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General of the Greater Toronto Area Region, Canada Border Services Agency.
SOURCE Ontario Provincial PoliceFor further information:
Sgt. Pierre Chamberland
Media Relations Coordinator