Toronto Police followed Alexander “Sandro” Lisi for months as part of an investigation into allegations around a video of Mayor Rob Ford apparently smoking crack cocaine.
But Lisi wasn’t an easy person to track: He “is difficult to conduct surveillance upon due to his erratic driving and suspicious criminal nature,” reads a police note released Thursday along with hundreds of pages of court documents connected to the investigation. None of the statements in the documents have been proven in court.
Lisi faces drug and extortion charges. Ford refused to comment on the revelations Thursday, even after Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed he’d seen a video of Rob Ford “consistent” with media reports.
Read more: Complete coverage of the Rob Ford story
On multiple occasions Lisi used “counter-surveillance” measures to dodge anyone tailing him, the documents allege: On June 16, the documents state, officers observed Lisi leaving his home, performing “counter-surveillance” measures and then returning a “short time later.” Soon after, police noticed a black Cadillac Escalade – driven by the mayor and registered to Deco Adhesive Products – drive around the block twice before leaving and parking at 223 Edenbridge Drive.
On July 28, the detective assigned to track Lisi “misplaced” him “due to his counter surveillance techniques,” the documents state.
Officers following Ford at the same time also briefly “misplaced” the mayor.
Eventually, both Lisi and Ford were followed to different McDonalds outlets. Lisi was then tracked to a Husky station on Royal York Road.
An unknown male who appeared to be filling up at the same station approached Lisi’s driver’s side window and leaned in but didn’t appear to give Lisi anything.
After a short conversation Lisi drove off and eventually met with Mayor Ford in a parking lot behind the Scarlett Heights Entrepreneurial Academy, at 15 Trehome Drive. Lisi constantly used counter surveillance techniques the entire time he was driving, police say.
Lisi parked several metres away from Ford (red circle, above), then exited his vehicle carrying a McDonalds bag and a small white plastic bag, and entered the passenger side of Ford’s vehicle. The two talked for a while; Ford seemed to be looking at a document on his lap.
The two sat for about half an hour, eating and talking.
Ford left the driver’s seat of the Escalade, leaving Lisi in the passenger seat, the police documents state.
Ford walked to the treed area where Lisi’s vehicle was parked, urinated, then returned to the driver’s seat of the Escalade.
Before leaving, Lisi threw out the McDonald’s bag in the same garbage receptacle and left the area, returning home.
Lisi is seen exiting his vehicle with an accordion type looking folder which he did not receive during his contact with Mayor Ford.
Surveillance officers seized the items Ford and Lisi had thrown into the garbage can and placed in a secure police locker at 22 Division to be held for further investigation.
i) Mayor Ford’s garbage: believed to be two empty vodka bottles
ii) Lisi’s garbage: later discovered to be a submarine sandwich bag
3. McDonald’s receipts
Follow up report: Ford’s alcohol purchase
To fill in the blanks during which detectives “misplaced” Ford, detectives got security footage from the LCBO at Crossroads Plaza on Weston Road.
These are screen shots from the LCBO security footage located at 2625D Weston Road.
i) Mayor Ford entering the LCBO at 4:15 pm
ii) At approximately 4:17 pm Mayor Ford can be partially seen in the upper right comer paying for his purchases and leaving. The following images are captures from the video.
iii) At 4:19 pm Mayor Ford can be seen exiting the store. He is in the store for approximately 4 minutes.