Published February 23, 2023

OPP say 27 people charged after 13-month organized crime investigation

Warrants were executed in a number of communities including Orillia

Files from Barrie 360

Police say 26 people have been charged after a 13-month investigation spanning multiple forces into the trafficking of controlled substances and firearms across southern Ontario.

Ontario Provincial Police say three members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club and three members of the Red Devils motorcycle club are among those arrested in the investigation, dubbed Project Coyote.

The joint operation included the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, the Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau, the Toronto Police Service and the Belleville Police Service.

Investigators say more than $370,000 in cash has been seized as well as handguns, weapons, vehicles, live ammunition, body armour, jewelry and drugs including cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Police say hundreds of charges related to the trafficking of drugs and firearms have been laid in the investigation, which began in January 2022, with arrests made in January and February 2023.

Nine high-risk warrants executed in the GTA on January 18, 2023, resulted in the arrest of 12 individuals. Additional warrants were executed in Orillia, Windsor and eastern Ontario, and 15 arrests were made on February 22, 2023.

The suspects are from Mississauga, Etobicoke, Lakeshore, Trenton and Belleville.

They say the investigation was supported by federal and international partners including the Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Items seized to date:

  • One Glock P80 3D printed handgun
  • One Ruger 357 (stolen) handgun
  • One Taurus 9mm handgun
  • One Sig Sauer 380-calibre prohibited handgun
  • One SCCY CPX-2 9mm restricted handgun
  • Three prohibited sawed-off shotguns
  • Three replica handguns
  • Two stun guns
  •  Live ammunition
  • Jewelry including two Rolex watches, gold chains and rings with an approximate value of $150,000.00; miscellaneous Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG) jewelry
  •  Miscellaneous Hells Angels (HA) vests, signage, member list and photos
  •  Hard and soft body armour
  • 10 vehicles
  • More than $370,000 in Canadian currency
  • Controlled substances in excess of:
  • 16 kilograms of cocaine
  • 1.5 kilograms of Fentanyl
  • 6 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, and an additional 400 crystal methamphetamine pills
  • 20 lbs of cannabis, as well as 500 packages of Cannabis edibles and 700 Cannabis edibles
  • 500 vape pens and cartridges
  • 8 lbs of hashish
  • 7 grams of Psilocybin

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 23, 2023.

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