A dozen men, 11 in Ontario and one in Quebec, have been arrested and millions of dollars worth of illicit drugs have been seized in a complex investigation into a high-level drug trafficking network, police say.
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) said they conducted a nine-month investigation named project Daytona, targeted at top-level facilitators linked to traditional organized crime groups.
“These are the individuals who would have provided drugs to street gangs, outlaw motorcycle gangs, as well as organized crime groups in all the communities,” said OCEB Dir. Supt. Bryan MacKillop.
Investigators said 12 people from both Ontario and Quebec were arrested on Jan. 22 and Jan. 23 and charged with 81 offences. The accused didn’t know each other; only a few were loosely connected, according to OPP.
A total of 8.5 kg of cocaine, nine kg of methamphetamine, four kg of ecstasy, more than 100 pounds of cannabis, 8.5 kg of cannabis concentrates and $30,000 in Canadian currency were seized, according to the OPP.
OCEB Major Case Manager Detective Inspector Peter Donnelly said the quality and quantity of the drugs were alarming and unlike anything he’s seen in his career.
“This is in the high 98 per cent pure cocaine. It would be stepped on by each level that buys it. It would be cut in half and then sold and then cut in half again sold until it reaches 25 to 30 per cent and then sold on the street,” he said.
MacKillop described the operation as “A-typical” and “intelligence-based.”
“We decided to strategically or surgically target certain influential people in multiple communities across the entire province,” he said.