Early morning raids across southern Ontario Thursday morning resulted in the arrests of 120 people and 660 charges laid in connection to a year-long investigation targeting the Driftwood Crips street gang.
Toronto police said 77 search warrants were executed between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. in the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario.
“We believe the Driftwood Crips have a clear rank structure, a number of leaders that control separate cells, some of whom are running their operations while incarcerated,” Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders told reporters during a press conference Thursday afternoon.
Saunders said the raids were comprised of 800 officers from 20 different police forces across Ontario. Police said the arrests were related to crimes which included attempted murder, trafficking firearms, kidnapping conspiracies, firearms possessions, robbery and drug trafficking.
“The major objective of Project Kronic was to identify the members and leaders of the Driftwood Crips, to determine those who supply this group with contraband including narcotics and weapons, solve historical serious crimes, and disrupt the violence in many affected communities,” Saunders said.
Police also said a member of the Driftwood Crips was supplying a large quantity of fentanyl and cocaine to a network of dealers in the Sudbury area, which included a member from Hells Angels.
VIDEO: Driftwood Crips gang accused of supplying fentanyl in Sudbury
Det.-Sgt. Brett Nicol said in a video posted on Toronto police’s YouTube account that the investigation nicknamed Project Kronic focused on the street gang and their criminal associates.
“We are alleging the Driftwood Crips are operating as a criminal organization with cells that have infiltrated various communities across Ontario, into the Sudbury region, they’re throughout Saskatchewan, Alberta and into B.C.,” Nicol said.
“Our goal through these arrests and the prosecution of the parties involved in this criminal network, that we’ll be able to alleviate the threat of violence that has impacted these communities.”
Saunders said search warrants also consisted of a number of seizures including firearms and proceeds of illegal narcotics.
“I think we’ve made a very significant dent,” he said on the impact of the arrests. “This gives that particular community an opportunity now to see what we can do working with community to try to make that community stronger.”
Saunders said a complete list of charges and suspects will be released on Friday along with a press conference displaying the items seized in the raids.