Ontario police seize a whopping $32 million of illegal weed in massive bust
Police in Ontario have been on a roll in recent months with huge busts of shocking quantities of various drugs, shipping containers full of stolen cars, illicit casinos, and murderous gangs, among other things.
The latest comes from Ontario Provincial Police, who took down yet another criminal organization that was selling cannabis and cannabis derivatives illegally not only in Southern Ontario, but worldwide.
Authorities found a staggering $32 millon of illegal weed — more than 7,000 kg — along with six guns, tens of thousands of pot plants, 65 kg of psilocybin, and large portions of other drugs such as cocaine, oxycodone and hydromorphone.
They also seized $53,000 cash and six vehicles in their nearly year-and-a-half-long investigation, which they dubbed Project Gainsborough.
Great work by #OPP & @lpsmediaoffice who seized $32 million in illegal cannabis after Project GAINSBOROUGH, an investigation into a criminal organization trafficking illegal cannabis. 21 people charged with 118 offences https://t.co/7OsGRDhsRA pic.twitter.com/gT9ajVNamx— Ontario Provincial Police (@OPP_News) November 16, 2021
A total of 15 search warrants across six municipalities in Southern Ontario led to 21 people being arrested, who now face a whopping 118 charges between tem, including the obvious ones of posession and trafficking Schedule III substances.
Cannabis extraction labs in Brampton and just outside of London were also dismantled, with the force noting in a release that "these labs are often operated by unqualified individuals and typically contain highly explosive, flammable and toxic substances required to complete the extraction process."
"The risks associated include fire, explosion, harmful fumes and chemical exposure as well as environmental damage and waste," continues the release.
Police added further context in a press conference on Tuesday, saying that the syndicate was operating an illegal weed website and delivery service in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, London and Hamilton.
"Since legalization, countless cannabis-centered online platforms have surfaced in the marketplace creating avenues of illegal online cannabis providers to advertise and sell cannabis via e-commerce," OPP Detective Inspector Jim Walker said.
"Members and associates of this particular criminal organization have been involved in the exportation of illegal cannabis and cannabis derivatives to numerous locations locally and worldwide... obtaining their supply from individuals who were exploiting the Health Canada registrations to produce cannabis for medical purposes by using the regime for criminal purposes and monetary gains."
Those charged range greatly in age, from 21 to 73 years old, and most are residents of London, Ontario. The group is due to appear in court on Dec. 3.
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