Earlier in April, the RCMP reported making the largest cocaine seizure in Manitoba’s history, while disrupting a major international drug trafficking network that transported drugs into the province through Ontario.
On April 5th, a total of 81 kilograms of cocaine was seized, with an estimated street value of $7.6 million, along with $1.5 million in cash in the Winnipeg area.
“It will undoubtedly have a major impact on the organized crime and illicit drug landscape within Manitoba,” said RCMP Supt. Darcy Fleury in the news release. In connection with the drug seizure, a 41-year-old man from Peterborough, Ont., has been charged with trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime.
“Disrupting organized crime is a priority for the Manitoba RCMP as we know these groups are involved in the importation and distribution of illicit and dangerous drugs that put our communities at risk,” said Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP, in a news release.
In a separate incident in Ontario there was another record-setting $2.5 million seizure of drugs, cash and more. On April 2, the Halton Police Drug and Human Trafficking Unit completed a seven-month investigation dubbed Project LYNX, leading to the seizure of $2.5 million of drugs, cash and more.
“The investigation centred around a sophisticated drug trafficking network responsible for supplying cocaine and fentanyl throughout the Greater Toronto Area,” said Det. Sgt. Barrett Gabriel in a statement. “The group is also believed to be involved in laundering the proceeds from this criminal enterprise.”
According to the Halton Police, this network was also responsible for importing cocaine and fentanyl throughout Halton. Moreover, it has been reported that the drug trafficking network had links to various organized crime groups across southern Ontario and worked collectively with them.
Following a series of raids carried out in Oakville, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Mississauga, Bolton and Toronto, the Halton Police seized 17 kg of cocaine, 3 kg of fentanyl, and 1 kg of MDMA.
“Organized crime and the illicit drug trade fuel violence, property crime and more importantly, are part and parcel of the current opioid overdose epidemic,” said Insp. Dave Constantini. “Illicit street drugs are mixed with dangerous precursors and cutting agents, which pose a significant threat to public safety.”
An Oakville man has been charged with possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and possession of psilocybin for the purpose of trafficking, while six other individuals from Mississauga, Toronto and Caledon face numerous drug trafficking charges and weapons-related charges and charges related to the possession of property obtained by crime.
“Project Lynx demonstrates our commitment to working with our policing partners and community stakeholders to prevent opioid overdose deaths,” said Insp. Constantini.
In addition, Insp. Constantini added that so far in 2021, Halton police have responded to 82 suspected overdoses, 18 of which were fatal. “That’s 18 lives lost. That’s 18 families who will never see their loved ones again,” he said.