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Crime

Police charge 55 in massive drug ring targeting Ontario First Nations communities

Investigators seized 57,792 methamphetamine pills, 7,229 oxycodone pills, 706 grams of cocaine, 476.6 grams of marijuana
and 154.25 fentanyl patches after raids across northeastern Ontario.
Investigators seized 57,792 methamphetamine pills, 7,229 oxycodone pills, 706 grams of cocaine, 476.6 grams of marijuana and 154.25 fentanyl patches after raids across northeastern Ontario. OPP/Handout

Police in northeastern Ontario have made dozens of arrests and laid more than 300 charges in connection with a massive drug trafficking investigation that netted more than a quarter of a million dollars, 60,000 pills and hundreds of grams of cocaine and marijuana.

Ontario Provincial Police organized crime investigators and the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service launched an investigation in November 2015, dubbed Project COAST, to dismantle drug distribution networks in Timmins, Chapleau and coastal James Bay communities.

Police said the drugs sold in these communities typically went for four times the standard street prices in urban centres, which provided suspects with “considerable profit incentive” to target vulnerable residents of First Nations communities.

During the investigation, 21 search warrants were executed earlier this month at locations across northern and eastern Ontario, where police seized the following drugs:

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  • 57,792 methamphetamine pills
  • 7,229 oxycodone pills
  • 706 grams of cocaine
  • 476.6 grams of marijuana
  • 154.25 fentanyl patches

Investigators also seized more than $252,000, a shotgun and a bulletproof vest, in addition to laying 341 charges against 55 people. Police said the investigation is ongoing.

OPP/Handout
OPP/Handout
OPP/Handout
OPP/Handout
OPP/Handout
OPP/Handout
OPP/Handout
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