A total of 33 suspects with alleged ties to the Greater Sudbury drug trade and a violent street gang were swept up in early morning raids in Greater Sudbury on June 15.
Project Kronic targeted the Driftwood Crips, a criminal organization with tentacles spreading throughout Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.
Those arrested in the Sudbury connection now face a combined 141 charges. The bulk of the charges are drug-related including multiple counts of conspiracy to traffic in various narcotics, particularly fentanyl and cocaine. Some of the 33 are Sudbury residents, while others have local connections to the drug trade.
“You can make the inference that many of these individuals were affiliated with the Driftwood Crips in one way or another, either as full-fledged members, or as associate,” Inspector Dan Despatie of the Greater Sudbury Police Service told Sudbury.com
Despatie headed the GSPS crimminal investigations division at the height of the Project Kronic investigation.
In total, 90 individuals face 485 changes as a result of Project Kronic, according to Toronto police deputy chief Jim Ramer, who updated the media at a Toronto press conference this morning.
A number of the suspects remain in custody in Toronto.
Toronto police expect to make another 35 arrests and lay an additional 133 charges in the coming days through additional investigation following Thursday morning's raids.
According to Toronto police inspector Peter Moreira, who heads the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force, 193 fentanyl patches and 194 fentanyl pills were seized in Project Kronic.
Moreira said the drugs have a combined Sudbury street value of about $109,000, significantly higher than what the same amount would net on Toronto streets, while Despatie said a “significant” amount of the drugs were seized in Sudbury.
“You can see that the value of drugs in Sudbury can be much higher,” Despatie said. “That's why we often see the migration of individuals into our community for the sale of illicit drugs. It's lucrative up north.”
Despatie says the ease of communication and close proximately of Sudbury to Toronto make it easy to traffic drugs like Fentanyl into the community. He says it's important for law enforcement to collaborate with social services on intervention in order to stem the tide of drug addiction and, therefore, reduce demand.