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Over 830 charges laid in Hamilton police operation targeting gangs and retaliation shootings

Police say 23 guns and and about $1.8 Million in illegal drugs were seized during a four month operation targeting gun violence in Hamilton. Hamilton Police Service.

A four-month operation that targeted gang-related activity and retaliation shootings in Hamilton has led to charges for 112 individuals in addition to the seizure of large amounts of drugs and guns, according to police.

The initiative, tagged as Project Strong, was in response to an increase in shootings and violent crime toward the end of 2020 in which Hamilton police investigated 21 incidents between September and December.

“This project reflected a whole of service approach, everyone from patrol to our guns and gangs unit,” Deputy Chief Frank Bergen said in a statement.

“Vice and drug units were equipped with intelligence in order to identify individuals responsible for this increase in Hamilton’s gun violence.”

Read more: $2.5M in drugs and cash seized from network in GTHA raids: police

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Bergen said the city dealt with 51 shootings in all of 2020. Between December and March, police units targeted areas of the city with noted increases in gun and gang activity.

Police say there were 51 shootings in Hamilton in 2020 with a marked increase, 21, between September and December.
Police say there were 51 shootings in Hamilton in 2020 with a marked increase, 21, between September and December. Hamilton Police Service

 

Police said the action saw 87 search warrants executed in homes and vehicles leading to the seizure of 23 firearms, $1.8 million in illegal drugs as well as other weapons, ammunition and large amounts of cash.

Over 830 charges have been laid in connection with the raids.

“Since beginning Project Strong, there’s been a significant decrease in the number of retaliatory shootings between members of low-level street gangs and drug traffickers from January to March 2021,” Det. Peter Hall said.

“There have been six shootings in Hamilton compared to 21 from September to December.”

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