York Regional Police seize drugs worth $7M and charge 39 after 5-month investigation

York Regional Police say they broke a drug trafficking ring, seizing $7 million of illicit drugs and arresting 39 people. CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

Investigators with the York Regional Police seized more than $7 million worth of drugs and charged 39 people with more than 150 criminal offences after a five-month investigation into the trafficking of controlled substances in the Town of Newmarket.

In April 2023, investigators received a tip about a woman trafficking drugs in Newmarket. A suspect was identified and as investigators targeted the street-level trafficking, they identified a larger network that was supplying large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine in the community.

The investigation evolved into Project Crystal, during which police found evidence of drug traffickers dealing methamphetamine, fentanyl and cocaine at the kilogram level. The investigation resulted in 23 search warrants being executed at locations in Newmarket, Vaughan, Mississauga, Ajax and across Toronto, and that culminated with the seizure of illegal drugs with an estimated street value of more than $7 million.

In total, York region police say they seized more than 11 kg of crystal methamphetamine, more than 2 kg of fentanyl (including one of raw fentanyl, which could be processed into approximately 27 kg of street fentanyl), more than 6 kg of cocaine, as well as almost 900 g of MDMA (ecstasy) and more than 230 pounds of illicit cannabis.

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To date, 39 people have been charged with 156 criminal offences. Five arrest warrants were issued for outstanding suspects who are still wanted for a variety of drug-related charges.

“It’s encouraging to strike a blow against peddlers of harmful drugs in our communities, but our work is not done,” said Chief Jim MacSween.

“York Regional Police continues to strategically target the supply and sale of illegal, dangerous drugs in our communities through intelligence-led policing, community partnerships and enforcement initiatives like Project Crystal.”

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