project brisa

Toronto police announce biggest drug bust in the force's history with Project Brisa

Toronto police have just revealed the details of the largest drug bust in the history of the city, with more than 1,000 kg of illicit substances — $61 million worth — seized as part of a six-month investigation dubbed Project Brisa.

With the help of Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police and the Canada Border Services Agency, the "frankly staggering" quantities of drugs and the cross-border operation to smuggle them into the country were uncovered, amounting to hundreds of collective charges against 20 individuals.

A total of 35 search warrants were executed across the GTA and in other major cities across Canada as part of the bust, in which a whopping 444 kg of cocaine, 427 kg of marijuana, 182 kg of crystal meth, 300 oxycodone pills, 21 vehicles, $966,020 in cash and suspiciously only one firearm was found.

According to authorities, the smugglers employed secret hydraulic trap-door compartments in semi-trailers that were impenetrable by x-ray and could hold up to 100 kg of product to transport from Mexico and the U.S. into Canada through Ontario land border crossings.

The sophisticated traps were designed by a Surrey, B.C. man who turned himself in last week.

"Let me be clear, the size and scope of this investigation in terms of drugs seized and potential harm caused has never been seen before in our service," TPS police chief James Ramer said at a press conference about Brisa on Tuesday morning.

"To my knowledge, this is the first time we've conducted a media briefing such as this outdoors in order to be able to display the magnitude of what was seized."

Those in custody range from "a young person" to a 46-year-old, and are listed as residents of Toronto, Brampton, Vaughan, Kitchener, and Caledon.

Two additional suspects — Scott McManus and William Nhan — are still at large and are being encouraged to turn themselves in.

Lead photo by

Toronto Police Service

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