A major investigation into drug trafficking in Durham Region by the Durham Regional Police Gang Enforcement Unit, assisted by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), has led to one of the largest seizures of cocaine in recent memory.
Members of the three agencies including DRP Chief of Police Mike Ewles, announced the seizure at a press conference held at Regional Headquarters in Whitby.
In total, 276 kilograms of high-quality cocaine was seized from a freight container in Saint John, New Brunswick, destined to arrive in Etobicoke, Ontario. Once cut, this would have turned into approximately 400 kilograms of “street level” cocaine, which is worth about $40 million using current prices.
The police investigation, dubbed “Project FALCON,” began when investigators set out to identify the sources of cocaine being found in the possession of street gang members and drug users in Durham Region. This investigation alerted police to the activity of a criminal network that was responsible for importing cocaine and selling it on the streets of Durham Region and elsewhere in the Golden Horseshoe.
Cocaine was found hidden inside boxes of hot sauce on a 40-foot container destined for Caribbean International Food Distributors of Etobicoke, Ontario. Of 1,250 boxes of sauce, cocaine was found in 551 of them. Tests have confirmed it is between 77-79 per cent pure.
The owner of Caribbean International Food Distributors, 45-year-old Mahendrapaul Doodnauth of Etobicoke was arrested on Friday, December 19th, 2008 after he unloaded all 1,250 boxes at a rented storage facility.
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