Toronto police dismantle violent street gang and seize firearms and drugs
Toronto police announced today that they dismantled a "violent street gang" called the Eglinton West Crips and laid hundreds of criminal charges in a huge province-wide gun, gang, drug and human trafficking investigation.
The year-long intelligence-led operation, called Project Sunder, was completed in cooperation with the Ontario Provincial Police, Waterloo, York, Peel and Durham Regional Police Services, as well as the Thunder Bay Police Service, according to TPS.
In a news release published Friday, the force said that the investigation targeted over 100 individuals alleged to be responsible for serious crimes such as murder, attempted murder, firearms offences, drug trafficking and human trafficking in areas from Toronto to Thunder Bay.
The investigation took place over several months and, with the execution of 141 search warrants, police were able to seize 31 firearms, seven kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of fentanyl, two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, over $300,000 in Canadian currency, and other drugs including heroin, oxycodone, percocets, and MDMA.
"What started as a local investigation into a dangerous street gang known as the Eglinton West Crips turned into a complex, multi-jurisdictional project involving arrests in 15 different cities," said TPS Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw in the release.
"Thanks to the cooperation of these other police services, we have been successful in dismantling this criminal organization and taking guns and drugs off the streets of many communities."
Police are expecting that once the project is entirely complete, more than 114 people will face roughly 800 charges including offences related to participating in a criminal organization, firearms offences including shootings, and drug trafficking and possession.
Other Ontario jurisdictions that played an active role in the project, according to TPS, include Ontario Provincial Police (Orillia, Gravenhurst, North Bay, Napanee), York Region, Peel Region, Halton Region, Durham Region, Barrie, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Kingston, Ottawa, and Thunder Bay.
"Violent criminal activity knows no geographical boundaries," said Waterloo Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton in the news release.
"The number of weapons and drugs seized during this joint investigation should be concerning to all communities and demonstrates the commitment from Ontario police services to disrupt illegal trafficking, gun and gang violence in our province. We will continue to combat such violent crime and ensure individuals responsible are brought to justice."
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