Complex police operation takes down international illegal drug importation and distribution rings

12 People Charged; Illegal Drugs Removed From Supply Networks 

LONDON, ON, May 22, 2014 /CNW/ - Several Ontario residents face charges following a complex investigation into three identifiable illegal drug trafficking rings in southwestern Ontario, two of which were importing drugs from Mexico.

Project GREYMOUTH began in August 2013 as an Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) project to gather evidence of illegal drug trafficking. Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) found cocaine and methamphetamine were being imported directly from Mexico then transferred to local traffickers in several Ontario communities, including Oxford County, Norfolk County, Middlesex County, Waterloo Region and the Greater Toronto area. Police then linked GREYMOUTH with an investigation by Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) known as GRIMM, which was also concluded.

At a news conference today, OPP Deputy Commissioner Scott Tod, OPP Detective-Inspector Steve Clegg, WRPS Inspector David Bishop, and Mr. Dan Badour of Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) unveiled details of the investigation and samples of the evidence seized during the nine-month probe.

Project GREYMOUTH was conducted by OCEB Drug Enforcement-West in partnership with the WRPS and CBSA. Members of the OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit, OPP Emergency Response Team and the Toronto Police Service assisted with executing the search warrants. In all, 13 search warrants were executed during the week of May 12-16 -- five (5) by OPP; eight (8) by WRPS -- at a number of locations in the Waterloo area as well as locations in Oxford County, Elgin County, Norfolk County, and the City of Toronto.

During Project GREYMOUTH, OPP seized:

  • 12 kilograms of cocaine (worth an estimated value of $1.2-million);
  • 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine (worth an estimated value of $280-thousand);
  • one stun gun;
  • $89,955.00 in Canadian currency; and,
  • $38,000.00 in United States currency.

In addition, four (4) vehicles were seized as offence-related property.

OPP have charged 12 people with 49 offences including charges relating to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Criminal Code of Canada (Proceeds of Crime, Prohibited Weapon). (See PROJECT GREYMOUTH -- ADDENDUM OF CHARGED PERSONS on Media Resources Page)

Several of the accused persons have appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kitchener-Waterloo and Norfolk County at various times and dates. An arrest warrant has been issued for one male - Peter KNELSEN - who is believed to be out of the country. The OPP investigation continues.

LEARN MORE

Media resources, including digital still photos of some of the evidence seized and a map, can be found at this link: Media Resources Page. (www.opp.ca/media/greymouth)

The Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) has a mandate to work with its partners to facilitate the disruption and suppression of organized crime, which affects the citizens of Ontario. OCEB provides members and operational support to investigations on a provincial, national, and international level, working in cooperation with law enforcement agencies from around the world.

QUOTES

"Preventing crime before it occurs is a hallmark of excellent and coordinated police work. This joint investigation means thousands of dollars have been taken out of a criminal enterprise and prevented illegal drugs from getting into the hands of our young people." - Scott TOD, Deputy Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police 

"Anytime that we dismantle a criminal operation, we send a very clear message to criminals that police - regardless of jurisdiction -- will continue to identify and aggressively pursue those individuals who continue to threaten the safety of our communities. Projects GREYMOUTH and GRIMM again demonstrate how effective law enforcement is at working together to target criminality." - Chief Matt TORIGIAN, Waterloo Regional 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 play a vital role to protect the safety and security of all Canadians on a daily basis." - Mr. Dan BADOUR, Canada Border Services Agency

www.opp.ca

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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Media Contact:
A/Sgt. Chrystal Jones 
Regional Community Services Coordinator 
OPP West Region

Phone:  (519) 652-4156  

E-mail:   chrystal.jones@ontario.ca


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