Here are some of Canada’s largest drug busts over the last 25 years
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced Monday that they had carried out the largest drug bust in the province’s history.
The massive drug bust is just one of several made across the country each year. The Canadian Border Services alone made about 9,611 drug seizures in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, which valued more than $310 million.
Drug busts often also lead to charges. In 2016, drug offences such as possession, trafficking, importation and exportation, and production led to about 95,400 police-reported offences, Statistics Canada found. About 58 per cent were marijuana-related, but StatsCan notes crimes involving the soon-to-be-legalized drug are on the mend.
WATCH: OPP fear fentanyl was used to cut cocaine seized in massive bust
Crimes involving other drugs, however, have grown steadily.
“The combined rate of possession, trafficking, production and distribution of drugs other than cannabis and cocaine has been increasing since 2010,” the report reads.
It adds that between 2015 and 2016, the most notable increases have been seen in crimes of heroin, meth, and “other drugs” such as fentanyl.
Here are a few of Canada’s most notable drug busts in recent years.
Edmonton, July 2017
Edmonton police announced in July that they had made the largest fentanyl pill seizure in Canadian history after an investigation began in March.
On July 5, the Edmonton Drug and Gang Enforcement Unit conducted a search on a house in Edmonton, where 67,000 fentanyl pills were seized with an estimated street value of $2 million.
The bust also involved three other Edmonton houses and a fourth in Sturgeon County. In total, 130,000 fentanyl pills were found, with an estimated street value of $3.9 million.
Other illicit drugs, such as carfentanyl, cocaine and methamphetamine were also found.
WATCH: Police seize 130K fentanyl pills worth an estimated $3.9M
Toronto, October 2016
In October 2016, Toronto Police announced they had made the “largest single seizure” of cocaine in the city’s history at the time. Police found 73 kilograms of cocaine, 12 kilograms of crystal meth, and eight kilograms of ecstasy during the “Project Polar” drug bust.
The total street value of the drugs found was about $9 million.
WATCH: Toronto man charged in ‘Project Polar’ drug bust
Pembroke, Ont., September 2008
In September 2008, Ontario Provincial Police carried out what they claimed was the largest marijuana seizure in Canadian history. OPP seized more than 40,000 plants from a farm in Pembroke.
According to Northern News, the crop had an estimated street value of $40 million. The massive bust involved about a dozen police cruisers and 30 officers.
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Vancouver and Toronto, September 2000
A cocaine drug bust in 2000 uncovered 1,700 fake duck eggs that were filled with heroin and the ecstasy pills.
The seizure of 150 kilograms of drugs, carried out in both Vancouver and Toronto, was one of the largest in the country’s history.
“It’s definitely the largest in Vancouver, and nobody can remember anything larger in Toronto or Montreal,” said RCMP Corporal Grant Learned told The Globe and Mail at the time.
The drugs originated from China, and RCMP said the deliveries were closely co-ordinated by groups in both cities, The Globe wrote.
WATCH: Calgary police concerned over large drug seizures
Montreal, November 1992
Canadian jets and helicopters chased a plane carrying 4.1 tonnes of Colombian cocaine, according to a 1992 Reuters report.
Three Canadians and three Colombians were arrested when the plane finally landed in Quebec. At the time, the cocaine was worth more than $790 million.
For more coverage of drug busts in Canada, click here.
— With previous Global News files
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