13 people facing 141 charges amid Ontario drug trafficking investigation

A photo of the alleged drugs seized by the OPP in Project Helston. Ontario Provincial Police

Thirteen people are facing dozens of charges following a months-long investigation into alleged fentanyl and cocaine trafficking.

Provincial police say they seized 31.5 kilograms of fentanyl and 7.5 kilograms of cocaine as part of the probe, dubbed “Project Helston.”

Their investigation began in March 2020 when they say there was an influx of illicit drugs in eastern Ontario.

They say they identified three “criminal networks,” one of which produced and trafficked fentanyl, while the others trafficked fentanyl or cocaine.

Police say they searched four properties last week in Mississauga, Ont., Cornwall, Ont., and Ottawa.

The accused face a combined 141 charges, come from across southern Ontario and Gatineau, Que., and range in age from 20 to 56.

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Police say the drugs they seized are extremely dangerous, as illicitly produced fentanyl varies in strength so it’s difficult to know how potent a dose is.

“I’ve been a police officer for 26 years and an investigator for most of that time,” Det. Insp. Peter Donnelly told a Wednesday morning news conference. “In my career, I’ve seldom been as disturbed by the actions of those I’ve investigated as I am by the criminals producing and trafficking the fentanyl season Project Helston.”

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