The Canadian police forces in western Canada, with the help of the RCMP, have concluded a 10-month investigation ending with a major bust. Winnipeg police have seized nearly $3 million worth of illicit drugs and arrested ten people who face multiple drug trafficking and possession charges.
The investigation was started by the Winnipeg Police Service’s organized crime division but soon involved not only the RCMP but also the police services across the western provinces including Vancouver, Edmonton and Regina.
The crime network spanned the western provinces and included activity in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. The project was dubbed Project Riverbank and tracked drugs moving west to east, with police believing the point of origin was British Columbia, said Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth.
“These drugs may arrive in our larger cities, but they quickly infiltrate every part of our province, from rural areas to remote northern communities. No place is immune from the reach of these organized crime networks.” stated Scott Kolody, Manitoba RCMP assistant commissioner.
Kolody said that the the police have “no doubt” that this bust will impact the amount of drugs available within Winnipeg and Manitoba. The total value of all of the drugs, property and cash that were seized across the four provinces is approximately $2.7 million which includes $899,260 in drugs.
“Any time you can get any methamphetamine off the streets of Winnipeg, it’s a positive move towards that,” said Max Waddell with the Winnipeg Police Service’s organized crime division.
“Most certainly, the individuals involved in this drug network were significant players, and … taking these drugs away from them and dismantling their network is going to have a significant impact in the city of Winnipeg.” Waddell went on to say that the methamphetamine alone could equal about 30,000 hits, and now off the streets this will likely disrupt the supply in the city.