10 Jul Cops seize fentanyl, cocaine and guns in big bust
Police in Toronto and Windsor say they made a “very significant” bust in the battle against the opiate crisis.
Toronto Police Insp. Don Belanger said Wednesday that officers taking part in Project Oz arrested four men and two women and seized large amounts of fentanyl, cocaine and six handguns after acting on 14 search warrants for residences and vehicles in Toronto, Brampton and Windsor on June 27.
Two other men remain at large.
“These are higher level distributors,” alleged Belanger. “These drugs would have found their way to the streets of Toronto and the GTA and Windsor, there’s absolutely no doubt about that. It is our allegation that they are organized criminals who choose to profit from the misfortune and addiction of others.”
Among the items seized were 2.6 kilograms of fentanyl, 100 fentanyl patches, 24 kilograms of cocaine, 1.4 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, 11 grams of crack cocaine, about $500,000, six handguns, three over-capacity magazines and 238 rounds of ammunition.
“Our drug experts estimate that this quantity of drugs has the potential to yield as much as $5.4 million once sold at the street level,” said Belanger. “This investigation yet again demonstrates the link between drugs, guns and organized crime.”
Belanger said fentanyl — generally imported from China and Mexico — is sold at the street level in quantities starting at 0.1 grams, and in a bid to increase potency of their product, dealers often use the potentially-lethal substance to lace other drugs unbeknowst to users.
“The social cost, including the number of deaths, caused by fentanyl overdoses is frankly unconscionable,” he said. “In 2019, no one — not the least of which drug dealers — can claim ignorance when it comes the dangers of ingesting fentanyl, yet they continue to sell it anyway.”
He said Toronto paramedics have tracked 64 fatal fentanyl overdoses from January to May of this year and Health Canada reported the drug killed 4,600 people across the country in 2018.
Charged with a slew of offences are: Christopher Janisse, 30, of Toronto; Brian Medeiros, 33, of Toronto; Mokoumba Mulumba, 31, of Toronto; Steven Whalen, 34, of Toronto; Minja Ljumovic, 36, of Windsor; and Danielle Hess, 29, of Windsor.
Still wanted are Sebastiano Profetto, 30, of Windsor and Jaidyn Downes, 33, of Cobourg.