The numbers associated with a six-month drug investigation in Northern Ontario has led to 55 arrests and 341 charges, as well as the seizure of thousands of dollars worth of drugs, and more than $250,000 in cash.
Dubbed “Project Coast,” the sting was a joint investigation by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.
Initiated in November 2015, Project Coast aimed to dismantle drug distribution networks trafficking prescription medications and illicit drugs to communities in northeastern Ontario.
In a news release, the OPP said the lengthy investigation focussed on the Timmins and Chapleau areas, as well as James Bay coastal communities where illegal drugs typically fetch four times the street price of urban centres to the south.
The results of the sting were unveiled this morning at a press conference in Timmins.
The sting involved 21 search warrants executed earlier this month at locations in northern and eastern Ontario.
- 57,792 methamphetamine tablets
- 7,229 oxycodone pills
- 706 grams of cocaine
- 476.6 grams of marijuana and
- 154.25 fentanyl patches.
Police also seized more than $252,000 in Canadian currency, one shotgun and a bulletproof vest.
Among the 55 people arrested was a 52-year-old Sudbury man, who faces one count of possession of a controlled substance, three counts of trafficking, three counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of possession of property obtained by crime.
“The trafficking of illegal and prescription drugs brings an element of society into our communities that engage in further criminal behaviours to protect their enterprises,” said Chief Terry Armstrong of the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. “By working collaboratively with our police partners and mobilizing community leaders, the individuals who target our people have been arrested and charged as we tackle several challenging issues.”
Several of the accused persons will appear at Ontario Courts of Justice at various times, dates and locations. The investigation continues.