Police Project Dismantles Inter-Provincial Criminal Organization

Nine Charged with Drug and Criminal Organization Offences

OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Five Ontario residents and four from Québec face numerous drug and criminal organization charges following an 11-month Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigation.

At a news conference today, members of the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) revealed details of a lengthy and complex investigation into a criminal organization. Project ADELAIDE began as an intelligence probe by the Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau in response to information being received from small communities in Eastern Ontario. In November 2012, the OCEB was engaged and began to gather evidence against a drug-based criminal organization involved in distributing cocaine along with a host of other dangerous activities that are characteristic of criminal organizations. As the OCEB probe unfolded, the breadth of the investigation expanded into Québec and the SQ was engaged for assistance. The complex investigation revealed evidence of intimidation, extortion, and criminal interest rate loans -also known as 'loan sharking'. The OPP continues to investigate these offences, as well as a $1.2 million mortgage fraud and high level money laundering through shell companies of approximately $10-million.

Police described the drug operation a unique due to its 'just in time' delivery model -- similar to many modern manufacturers and commercial big box retailers. Cocaine in Montréal was being transferred to Mont-Tremblant, Québec, 'cut', and rapidly re-packaged for distribution to local traffickers in several Eastern Ontario communities, including Ottawa, Carleton Place, Perth, Stittsville, Lombardy, and Smiths Falls.

On October 16, 2013, police executed 25 search warrants - 18 in Ontario and seven (7) in Québec -- at residential and business locations.  During the takedown, police seized:

During the takedown, police seized:

  • 2.5 kilograms of cocaine;
  • One kilogram of hashish;
  • A half-kilogram of hashish;
  • One handgun;
  • Seven (7) motor vehicles;
  • Restrained one residence with respect to proceeds of crime; and,
  • $409,000.00 in cash.

Police will also be seizing a Robinson R44 helicopter.

Charged under the Criminal Code of Canada (CC) and the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA) are:

David John Mayne BULLEN, aged 45 years, of Lombardy, ON

  • Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence (CC)
  • Counselling to Commit Extortion (CC)
  • Instruct a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Participate in a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Commission of an Offence for a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Possession of Proceeds of Crime (CC)
  • Traffic Cocaine (CDSA)

Michel COTE, aged 54 years, of Amherst, QC:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence (CC)
  • Instruct a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Participate in a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Commission of an Offence for a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Possession of Proceeds of Crime (CC)
  • Traffic Cocaine (CDSA)
  • Possess Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA)

Viorel GHEORGHEVICI, aged 44 years, of Ottawa, ON;

  • Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence (CC),
  • Possession Of Proceeds Of Crime (CC)
  • Traffic Cocaine (CDSA) - five counts
  • Possess Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA) - five counts
  • Participate in a Criminal Organization (CC)
  • Commission of an offence for a Criminal Organization (CC)

Charged with one count each of Conspiracy to Commit Indictable Offence (CC), Possession of Proceeds of Crime (CC), Traffic Cocaine (CDSA), Possess Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA), Participate in a Criminal Organization (CC), and Commission of an offence for a Criminal Organization (CC) are:

  • Jordan McGREGOR, aged 24 years, of Ottawa, ON;
  • Charles ETHIER, aged 47 years, of Amherst, QC;
  • Ross McCOY, aged 45 years, of Stittsville, ON
  • Richard PERRON, aged 43 years, of L'Assomption, QC
  • Michel PEDNEAULT, aged 50 years, of Blainville, QC
  • Ryan JONES, aged 44 years, of Smith Falls, ON

Mr. Bullen, Mr. Perron and Mr. Pednault are the subject of outstanding arrest warrants. The rest of the accused made their first appearance at the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa (Elgin Street) on October 16, 2013.

LEARN MORE

Media resources, including surveillance photos and videos, can be found at this link: Media Resources Page

QUOTES

"Police recognize the distribution and abuse of illegal drugs have a serious impact on community safety, leading to increases in a wide spectrum of violent acts and property crimes, particularly involving criminal organizations. Project Adelaide sends a clear and strong message that police - working together -- will do everything in their power to safeguard communities." - Deputy Commissioner Scott Tod, OPP Investigations and Organized Crime 

"Criminal organizations have no borders and respect no jurisdictions. Project Adelaide is another great example of a multi-jurisdictional partnership that demonstrates dedication and teamwork required to keep our communities safe." - Chief Superintendent Mike Armstrong, Commander - OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.

www.opp.ca
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SOURCE: Ontario Provincial Police

For further information:

Sgt. Pierre Chamberland      
Media Relations Coordinator     
Corporate Communications   
Ontario Provincial Police     
(705) 329-6860      
 
Lieutenant Guy Lapointe
Chef de services des 
Communications avec les medias
Sûreté du Québec
(514) 598-4848



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