Massive Toronto bust nets $17M worth of cocaine and other drugs
Toronto Police just took what's being described as a "hugely significant" amount of illegal drugs off the street, alongside two guns, a host of processing equipment and — bonus! — more than half a million dollars in cash.
All in all, police managed to seize more than 142 kilograms of fentanyl, cocaine, heroin and crystal methamphetamine as the result of two separate investigations targeting illegal drug trafficking in the Greater Toronto Area this fall.
The estimated total street value of the hauls are roughly $17.7 million (and that's not including the weapons, cash or anything other than drugs.)
Police announced the dual busts during a press conference on Thursday, revealing that one man had been charged in relation to each investigation.
The first, 23-year-old Onyejebechi Ifesimeshone of Vaughan, Ontario, was arrested on November 15 after the TPS Drug Squad said it "received information regarding a man trafficking drugs in the City of Toronto."
Using search warrants granted under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, police searched three properties in Vaughan and seized some 10.642 kg of cocaine, 767 grams of fentanyl and 67.8 kg of crystal meth.
A separate investigation involving officers from the Drug Squad’s Clandestine Lab Unit yielded slightly less coke (9 kg), but much, much more of many other things.
Said things include: 33 kg of fentanyl, 21 kg of meth, 1 kg of heroin, two handguns (with silencers), 51 rounds of ammunition, a money counter, mixing equipment, packaging equipment and a press "believed to be used for production of fentanyl into brick form."
Bayaan Abdalla Jadid, 26, of Edmonton, was arrested in relation to the second bust, in which police are said to have found a "fentanyl cutting lab" in Mississauga.
While the two busts were unrelated, Inspector Tyrone Hilton attributed the success of both operations to hard work and dedication on behalf of the TPS Drug Squad and all officers involved.
Had the drugs not been seized, police they could have caused harm to many vulnerable people within the City of Toronto.
"It is impossible to know how many overdoses this quantity of product will have prevented by being seized, how many fewer gang-related shootings would have happened, and how many fewer overdose patients would have to be treated by EMS," said Organized Crime Enforcement Superintendent Steve Watts during Thursday's press conference.
Watts explained that just 2.5 milligrams of fentanyl makes for a fatal dose. The 33 kilograms seized by police could have theoretically caused 13 million potential deaths.
"The Drug Squad actively targets those who profit while our communities suffer and we are committed to removing drugs from our streets, disrupting criminal activity, and ultimately making our communities safer for everyone," said Hilton in a news release following the press conference.
Ifesimeshone and Jadid both face criminal charges (a full list of which can be found here) and are scheduled to appear in court via video link on December 15 and December 9 respectively.
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