Updated June 19 at 12:37 p.m.: Of the 15 people charged as part of a massive OPP-led drug operation in northeastern Ontario, five are from Greater Sudbury.
The OPP have released an updated list of charges and individual arrests related to the raids that occured June 15 under Project Stinton.
Five residents of Greater Sudbury, ranging in age from 25 to 55, face a total of 25 charges. Charges include possession and trafficking of controlled substances, weapons offences, possession of property obtained by crime (Canadian currency), and obstruction.
Facing similar charges are seven people from Elliot Lake and three people from Sturgeon Falls.
As stated in previous reporting this morning, the drug ring taken apart by Project Stinton was connected to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, the OPP said.
Police said the subjects of Project Stinton were also related, through its Hells Angels connection, with the Driftwood Crips, a street gang that was the subject of another major drug bust last week, Project Kronic, that focussed mainly on Toronto, but also involved Greater Sudbury.
Project Stinton might be a harmless sounding name, but for the alleged drug dealers caught up in the massive OPP-led Northern Ontario police operation it was anything but.
On June 15, officers from police services and OPP detachments in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, West Nipissing, and Wikwemikong, with help from the RCMP and York Regional Police executed 16 search warrants in communities across the North.
The haul of drugs, weapons and cash they uncovered is impressive. The six-month operation was led by the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau in partnership with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Greater Sudbury Police Service and York Regional Police.
Involved in the June 15 sweep were the OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU Team), canine units, Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit and Biker Enforcement Unit, tactical teams from York Regional Police Service, Greater Sudbury Police Service, RCMP and Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, with assistance from West Nipissing Police Service and Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service.
Seized during the raids were:
- 182 grams of cocaine;
- 66 grams of crack cocaine;
- 7,000 methamphetamine tablets
- 700 grams of marijuana;
- 30 grams of shatter, a concentrated marijuana derivative;
- $25,475.00 Canadian currency;
- Ten non-restricted firearms;
- Two conducted energy weapons (i.e. Tasers - Prohibited weapons) - and five additional prohibited weapons;
- Two vehicles as offence-related property; and,
- Evidence linking members to the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, and other offence-related property.
Police said a search warrant was also executed at an after-hours bar in Sudbury allegedly operated by members of the Hell's Angels, where evidence was seized in relation to illegal alcohol sales.
The offences include conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances, trafficking in a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime, and weapons-related offences.
More details on the arrests and charges are expected to be released today.
The OPP confirmed though that 15 people were arrested and face a combined 78 charges. One of the accused remains in custody. The remainder were released on promises to appear in court in Sudbury, Sturgeon Falls, Elliot Lake and North Bay over the next six weeks.
The investigation continues, the OPP said.