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Dozens of Toronto gang members nabbed in massive organized crime bust

For the second time in just a few weeks, York Regional Police are announcing the successful takedown of a large-scale drug production and trafficking ring in the Toronto area.

Working with everyone from Canada Border Services Agency to Toronto Police Services, YRP said during a press conference on Thursday that it had seized a total of $45 million worth of illegal drugs across two separate organized crime busts.

The first bust is the result of a more than one-year-long investigation dubbed Project Moon. That project is said to have spanned the entirety of Southern Ontario and involved "Asian organized crime and street gangs," as well as members of the Parkdale Crips.

"This entire synthetic drug network was primarily funded through the illicit cultivation and sale of cannabis," said Mike Slack, York Regional Police superintendent of Organized Crime and Intelligence, of Project Moon during the press conference.

"The criminals associated to this project expertly abused the Health Canada medical licensing system," he continued. "This included everything from fraudulently obtaining licences, illegally leasing licences and pooling licences."

Slack said during Thursday's conference that the group had been using the proceeds of their black market marijuana sales to process and sell other drugs, such as MDMA and methamphetamine.

Police found 15,300 MDMA pills, 23 kilograms of meth, 400 Viagara pills, nine pounds of psilocybin mushrooms, 560 kilograms of cannabis, $220,000 in cash and at least four firearms in a series of raids across Southern Ontario.

Forty-two people have been charged with 118 criminal offences as a result of Project Moon, according to police. 

The second investigation, Project Zen, resulted in 38 charges for eight people who were said to have been involved in moving large amounts of fentanyl in and around Vaughan.

York Regional Police found more than five kilograms of fentanyl after executing a series of search warrants in the area, as well as 19 kilograms of cocaine, 16.5 kilograms of meth, 56 kilograms of cannabis, $270,000 in cash and five handguns.

Almost everything seized was displayed during today's press conference in York Region, with the exception of the fentanyl.

Slack said that the deadly opioid was too dangerous to display, noting that fentanyl-related overdoses are on the rise in York Region... and everywhere else in Canada.

Lead photo by

York Regional Police


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