ORGANIZED CRIME CHARGES LAID FOLLOWING INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO TRAFFICKING OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES, FIREARMS
Twenty-seven Individuals Arrested in Multiple Ontario Locations
(ORILLIA, ON) – Police have arrested 27 people following a 13-month joint-forces investigation known as Project Coyote.
In January 2022, the Ontario Provincial Police’s (OPP) Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB), Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau (POIB) and the Toronto (TPS) and Belleville Police Services (BPS) began an investigation into the trafficking of controlled substances and firearms by Greater Toronto Area (GTA) drug traffickers and members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.
Nine high-risk warrants executed in the GTA on January 18, 2023, resulted in the arrest of 12 individuals. Additional warrants were executed and 15 arrests were made on February 22, 2023. This included 3 members of the Hells Angels and 3 members of the Red Devils Motorcycle Club.
The results of this investigation include the seizure/restraint of significant amounts of cash, firearms, weapons, and other items including 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
• Controlled substances in excess of:
16 kilograms of cocaine
1.5 kilograms of Fentanyl
6 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, and an additional 400 crystal
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
More than $370,000 in Canadian currency
Note that as evidence collection and the investigation are ongoing, the above totals are subject to change.
The investigation was supported by federal and international partners including Canada Border Services Agency and the US Drug Enforcement Administration. The OPP expresses its appreciation to all of its participating members, both uniform and specialty support units, for their assistance with this investigation.
Please see the attached addendum for a full list of charged persons. Note that as this investigation continues, more charges are anticipated. The charges listed in the addendum are accurate as of 10:00 am EST on February 23, 2023.
The 15 parties arrested on February 22nd are to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville on February 23, 2023.
“Street gangs, Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs and other organized crime groups undermine peace and security across our communities. They deal in violence and conflict. They launder money. They traffic firearms and people. They hurt our communities. Joint investigations, such as the OPP, Toronto Police Service and Belleville Police Service’s Project Coyote, are critical in dismantling these criminal operations.”
-Chief Superintendent Paul Mackey, OCEB, OPP
“Criminals and their organizations don’t pay attention to boundaries – so neither should police services. It’s important that investigators work in concert to conduct such investigations to keep our communities safe - no matter what patch we wear on our shirts. The Toronto Police Service was proud to work with the OPP and Belleville Police Service to hold these people accountable, and keep all our communities safer.”
- Staff Superintendent Paul MacIntyre, Detective Services, Toronto Police Service
“The harm inflicted by organized crime in our communities knows no boundaries. These organizations prey on our most vulnerable citizens through violence and intimidation and profit from inflicted harm. Collaborative investigations such as Project Coyote send a very powerful message to criminals that they will face the combined resources of the entire law enforcement community in order to hold them accountable for their actions.”
– Deputy Chief Chris Barry, Belleville Police Service