Innisfil man among nearly two dozen arrested in cross-border, multi-million dollar cocaine smuggling bust

Over $10 million in drugs seized, 22 people facing charges

An Innisfil man is among those facing charges following a 15-month probe into a cross-border drug smuggling operation.

The OPP provided details on Thursday of its Project Southam, a joint investigation that began in March 2020 when police became aware of the importing of cocaine into Canada.

Investigators were able to identify two main groups working together to smuggle drugs into Canada. One group was smuggling coke in from Columbia, concealed in textiles. The other imported its cocaine from the Caribbean.

The investigation into these activities culminated in the execution of 44 search warrants at 25 locations on July 7. Among those locations was an address in Innisfil. The OPP say a 37-year-old Innisfil man has been arrested and faces charges in connection to trafficking and organized crime.

He is among the 22 people facing a combined 139 charges as a result of Project Southam. The investigation also resulted in the seizure of:

  • 92 kilograms of cocaine;
  • 1 kilogram of methamphetamine;
  • 249 kilograms of illicit cannabis, 100’s of bags of illicit cannabis edibles & 56 grams hash;
  • 1.3 kilograms of psilocybin;
  • 21 litres of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB);
  • 255 grams of ketamine;
  • 255 grams of MDMA;
  • 980 oxycodone pills;
  • 1 kilogram of a cutting agent;
  • A 9mm handgun;
  • 1 silver bar, approximate value of $2,600;
  • $372,020 in Canadian currency;
  • $7,620 in US currency;
  • A cryptocurrency hardware wallet containing cryptocurrency; and
  • 7 vehicles as offence-related property.

Investigators peg the street value of the drug seized at over $10 million.

Feature image: Ontario Provincial Police