Southwestern Ontario drug trafficking probe ends with 26 facing 111 charges, OPP say

Drugs OPP say they seized as part of a drug trafficking investigation in midwestern Ontario. Ontario Provincial Police/Handout

A sprawling drug trafficking investigation involving several OPP detachments in southwestern Ontario has netted a total of 111 charges against 26 people, provincial police announced Thursday.

The litany of charges comes after officers carried out nine search warrants at locations in Grey, Huron, Perth and Bruce counties and in Owen Sound on Wednesday in the probe, dubbed Project Carlina, which began in the spring.

Police say their investigation, which involved members of the OPP’s organized crime enforcement bureau and community street crime unit, was launched in May in response to a rise in drug overdoses in Bruce, Grey, Huron and Perth counties.

Wednesday’s raids were the culmination of that investigation with 26 people, ranging in age from 21 to 66, charged with a variety of drug possession and drug trafficking-related counts, police said.

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In all, police say they seized roughly $25,600 worth of drugs, including 160 grams of suspected methamphetamine, 50 grams of suspected fentanyl, 60 grams of suspected cocaine, six grams of suspected carfentanyl, more than 80 morphine pills, and more than 140 hydromorphone pills.

In addition, investigators say they also seized more than $36,000 in “a variety of stolen property,” along with more than $6,000 in Canadian cash and two firearms.

Two firearms OPP say they seized as part of a drug trafficking investigation in midwestern Ontario. Ontario Provincial Police/Handout

Six of those arrested hail from Owen Sound, while five are from Listowel, four each are from Goderich and Wingham, three are from Georgian Bluffs, and one each is from Blue Mountains, Huron-Kinloss, Meaford, and Mitchell, police said.

Most of the accused face between one and four charges under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, according to an addendum of charged persons released by police.

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A 62-year-old Georgian Bluffs man faces 26 charges, by far the most of those arrested, including 12 counts for possessing property obtained by crime, and five for trafficking a Schedule I substance, namely methamphetamine.

A 54-year-old Huron-Kinloss man and a 66-year-old Listowel man each face 11 charges, while a 59-year-old Mitchell man faces seven charges, police said.

Eighteen of those charged were released on conditions, police said, while eight were held in custody upon arrest. A majority of the accused are scheduled to appear in court in late October.

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