Ten Charged; Two at Large; Illegal Weapons Seized
WINDSOR, ON, March 10, 2016 /CNW/ - Ten people face numerous charges following a multi-jurisdiction investigation into the importation and distribution of illegal guns into Ontario from the United States.
Project KIRBY began in March 2015 when members of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB), Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit (PWEU) initiated an investigation into the criminal activities involving several residents of Windsor and Essex County, specifically the importation and sale of illegal firearms between Michigan and Ontario. Project KIRBY involved Essex County OPP, Windsor Police Service, Canada Border Services Agency, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Explosives [ATF] and London Police Service.
At a news conference today, OPP Detective-Inspector James SMYTH and representatives from the project's partner agencies unveiled details of the investigation and photos of the evidence seized during the nearly 12-month probe.
Last month, eight search warrants were executed at locations in Essex County, Windsor and London. Police seized eight prohibited weapons (seven handguns and one Tech-9 machine gun), two kilograms of cocaine, various drug trafficking packaging and paraphernalia, $67,000 in Canadian currency and $10,500 in American currency, and three vehicles as offence related property.
As a result, police have charged 10 people with 111 offences including charges relating to the Criminal Code of Canada, the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA), and Proceeds of Crime. One person remains at large in Canada and is believed to be in either Windsor or the Greater Toronto area. A second person, a United States citizen residing in Michigan, is also wanted. Several of the accused persons have already appeared at Ontario Courts of Justice at various times and dates. (See PROJECT KIRBY -- ADDENDUM OF CHARGED PERSONS on Media Resources Page)
The Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) has a mandate to work with its partners to facilitate the disruption and suppression of criminal enterprises, 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.
"Criminals involved in smuggling and distributing illegal weapons destined for other organized crime groups in Ontario continue to threaten the safety of all communities, regardless of jurisdiction. Project KIRBY is yet another example of effective law enforcement agencies working together to target criminality."
– Detective-Inspector James SMYTH, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau
"This collaborative investigation is a reflection of successful partnerships in policing, resulting in an improvement to the overall safety of our communities. Operations like this reduce violent crime in cooperation with the community. All members of this integrated team deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication to duty."
– Deputy Chief Vince POWER, Windsor Police Service
SOURCE Ontario Provincial Police
For further information: Media Contact: Provincial Constable Stephanie MONIZ, OPP Essex County Detachment, 519-723-2491, Email: Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org