Toronto police say hundreds of kilos of illegal drugs and pills have been seized and several arrests were made in what they are calling a “takedown of a major international drug-smuggling ring.”
A six-month investigation dubbed “Project Brisa” looked at the importation of cocaine and crystal meth from Mexico to California and then into Canada through tractor-trailers.
The investigation began in November 2020 and police alleged tractor-trailers were equipped with hydraulic traps capable of smuggling as much as 100 kilos of drugs in one trip.
After executing several search warrants, police arrested 20 people from B.C., Toronto, Kitchener, Vaughn, Caledon and Brampton, including one under the age of 18, who are collectively facing 182 charges. Police said two people are still outstanding.
“Throughout the project, investigators identified a person known as the ‘Trap Maker,'” Toronto police said in a release.
“This man was allegedly responsible for building hidden compartments within the tractor-trailers for the purposes of smuggling large amounts of contraband across borders.”
Jason Hall, a 43-year-old man from Surrey, B.C., turned himself to investigators last week, police said. Hall was allegedly known as the “Trap Maker,” according to police. Hall is facing one charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and participating in a criminal organization.
The following items were seized by investigators:
- 444 kg of cocaine
- 182 kg of crystal meth
- 427 kg of marijuana
- 300 oxycodone pills
- $966,020 in cash
- 21 vehicles, including 5 tractor-trailers
- 1 firearm
Police said the estimated street value of the drugs they claim that they seized is more than $61 million. Toronto police also said it is the largest drug bust in the service’s history.
Toronto police said Project Brisa was a collaboration between the Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police, and several other provincial government and American law enforcement agencies.