Canadian News

Toronto police seize almost $8 million in pure cocaine

Police have taken down cocaine distributors that they referred to as a "sophisticated crime group.” The group was holding on to 61 kilograms of pure cocaine.

Sam Edwards High Level, Alberta
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The Toronto Police Service has taken down "professional cocaine distributors" that they referred to as a "sophisticated crime group."

The group was reportedly holding on to 61 kilograms of pure cocaine—almost $8 million worth, according to CTV News.

During a news conference, Insp. Donald Belanger said, "It is rare to seize this quantity of cocaine in a single investigation."

"The amount of cocaine and cash seized in this investigation speaks to the level of sophistication of this group. They are not street-level or even mid-level drug dealers—we allege that they are highly organized, and for lack of a better term, professional cocaine distributors."

The cocaine was allegedly brought in from the United States and officers found the 61 kilograms in North York and Scarborough after executing multiple search warrants in their investigation which has lasted months.

"In the fall of 2019, the major project section of the drug squad commenced what became known as ‘Project Corredor,'" Belanger noted. "The investigation focused on a group of males based here in the city of Toronto, who we believe were importing and distributing cocaine at the multi-kilogram level."

At the news conference on Monday, the cocaine was placed on a table in 61 bricks along with more items.

Officers found 20 of the bricks in safes located at a condo near Young Street and Sheppard Avenue. There were 36 more found in a condo near Bayview and Sheppard avenues. Five more were then found in a residential house close to the Bayview and Finch avenues.

Belanger said he believed the group of criminals "had the capacity to make millions in profits from the sale of cocaine."

"Once stepped on or diluted, dealers would have ultimately turned these 61 kilograms of pure cocaine into a far greater quality of lower-grade cocaine mixed with any number of cheaper additives," Belanger added.

"As we’re seeing all too often, much of it would have undoubtedly been ended up laced with fentanyl, a drug that everyone now knows is responsible for far too many deaths here in Toronto and across Canada."

Officers say they also found $210,000 in cash, $30,000 Euro, $14,000 USD, many nice watches

"All of which we allege to be proceeds of crime," Belanger said.

The investigation led to the arrest of four Toronto men Including 39-year-old Patrick English, 48-year-old David Bergman, 52-year-old Ali Baek and 57-year-old Ardeshir Omanian. All men have been charged.

Two other suspects—47-year-old Andrew Wilson and 30-year-old Alan Jones-Smith—are still outstanding and there are warrants out for their arrest.

Anyone with more information on the subject is asked to call police at 416-808-6100. You can also contact Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477)

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