Police have made a dozen arrests in a gun and drug trafficking operation that spanned three provinces.
Winnipeg police said Thursday that its organized crime unit partnered with counterparts in Alberta and Ontario, as well as the RCMP, in Operation Phoenix — an investigation that has led to four Manitobans facing charges so far.
Police said they began investigating a firearm trafficking network in May of 2021, and throughout the summer, Operation Phoenix led to the discovery that large quantities of drugs were also being trafficked by the same group.
Two of the 12 people arrested are facing charges in connection to $70,000 in drugs — including meth, fentanyl, cocaine, and cannabis — and contraband being smuggled into Manitoba’s Stony Mountain Penitentiary and Collins Bay Institution in Kingston, Ont., via drones.
Among the contraband seized over the course of the investigation, police got their hands on 40 guns, 11 vehicles, four snowmobiles, three trailers and a Bobcat, as well as millions of dollars in meth, fentanyl and cocaine, and hundreds of thousands in marijuana, heroin, ecstasy and magic mushrooms.
Police said a number of bank accounts were also frozen as part of Operation Phoenix.
Of the 12 arrests, which took place in December, six men have been charged so far, including three Winnipeggers and one man from Anola, Man.
All of the accused are in custody.