Over $1 million in cash and drugs were on display for reporters on Dec. 9th as the results of Project Gladiator were revealed.
Deputy Chief Scott Burns was joined by York Regional Police Inspector Richard Crabtree and drug unit investigators for the announcement. Deputy Burns called the project a great example of police services working together to disband a drug network.
Thirty people from across the GTA are facing 110 charges and investigators seized crystal meth, Ecstasy, GHB and cash.
Deputy Burns also cautioned young adults and their families about the dangers of ingesting these man-made drugs.
"These drugs are dangerous – there is no guarantee of quality – and it is our strong recommendation not to engage in this sort of risky behaviour," he said.
In February 2011, the Durham Regional Police concluded project “Shrike,” a drug investigation with 19 arrests and several vehicles seized. In June, based on information received, the Drug Enforcement Unit executed a warrant on one vehicle being held in our custody. In this vehicle officers located a sophisticated, professionally installed, hidden compartment with $77,000 in opium, $174,000 in crystal meth, $38,000 in Ecstasy, $1600 worth of GHB (the "date rape" drug), almost $5000 in marihuana and a pill press.
Thus, Project Gladiator was formed in August. The network of drug traffickers were predominately located in York Region, and Durham formed a strategic partnership with York Regional Police in mid- September to conduct a joint forces operation.
On September 27th, York Regional Police arrested one person of interest to Project Gladiator, after locating a quantity of drugs in his Markham residence while investigating a break and enter. A Controlled Drug and Substances Act Warrant was executed and officers seized $50,000 in cash, 4.7 kilograms of cocaine, 43 pounds of marihuana, 6.7 grams heroin and a quantity of psilocybin.
Project Gladiator continued with the Services working together. Several warrants were executed on the 22nd of November, and a final takedown occurred on the 30th of November early in the morning hours. Twenty-one search warrants were executed simultaneously throughout the GTA, with the assistance of several police agencies.
The Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit is currently investigating and further property restraints may occur. The seizure of monies, vehicles and property hit the criminals where it counts – “in their wallets”.
The Durham Regional Police would like to thank York Regional Police for being a partner in this investigation. We have enjoyed a tremendous relationship with York over many years and are always impressed by their hard work, enthusiasm, professionalism and willingness to work together.
We would also like to thank the following agencies for their assistance: Toronto Police; OPP Drug Enforcement Section; OPP Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit; Kingston Police, City of Kawartha Lakes Police; Canada Border Services Agency; and Peel Regional Police.
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Deputy Burns Announces Details of Project (JPG file, 162.0K bytes)
Deputy Chief Burns and YRP Inspector Crabtree (JPG file, 213.0K bytes)