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Police arrest 16 after 9-month drug trafficking investigation in Ontario and Quebec

Click to play video 'OPP bust multi-million-dollar marijuana grow operations' OPP bust multi-million-dollar marijuana grow operations
WATCH ABOVE: Saturday marks the second anniversary of the legalization of cannabis and two years in Ontario Provincial Police say the province is grappling with a black market that’s running rampant with ties to major criminal organizations. Morganne Campbell reports. (Oct. 17) – Oct 17, 2020

OTTAWA – A nine-month investigation has led to 16 arrests and 138 criminal charges, mainly drug-trafficking counts, in eastern Ontario and Quebec, police say.

The Ontario Provincial Police say they executed 12 search warrants in Ottawa as well as Gatineau and Luskville, Que., last Thursday with help from the Sûreté du Québec.

Police say they were targeting wholesale drug sellers linked with criminal networks in Ontario, including outlaw motorcycle gangs, as well as Ottawa and Quebec-based criminal organizations supplying drugs to mid-level traffickers and street gangs.

READ MORE: Montreal-area man charged in U.S. in darknet fentanyl trafficking case

In the raids police say they seized 11.59 kilograms of cocaine, 96 kilograms of illegal cannabis, about 40,000 methamphetamine pills as well as $227,105 in cash and several firearms.

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OPP say that upon arrest, six of the accused were held in custody and the remainder were released with conditions.

They are expected to appear at an Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa on various dates.