Toronto, Ottawa police put ‘significant dent’ in drug and firearm ring

Toronto and Ottawa police have put a “significant dent” in an organized crime operation that traffics guns and drugs through the GTA, investigators said Monday.

Insp. Steve Watts of the Toronto police drug squad announced the results of Project Moses at a press conference at police headquarters Monday morning.

The investigation began last October and focused on three men who were allegedly moving guns and drugs through the GTA. Police identified numerous residences (in both Toronto and Ottawa), stash locations and vehicles during the investigation, Watts said.

Search warrants were executed on Feb. 14 and 15, he said, during which nearly $700,000 in illicit substances was seized.

In total, police seized:

  • One SKS assault rifle
  • Six handguns
  • More than 1,000 rounds of ammunition
  • 2.4 kg of powder cocaine
  • 1 kg of fentanyl
  • A half kilogram of heroin
  • A quantity of marijuana
  • $60,000 in cash

The vehicles that were searched were found to have multiple “traps,” or places to hide guns and drugs, Watts said. While drug squad officers are used to finding a single trap in a car, Watts said, they are now finding multiple traps.

Custom-made furniture with built-in traps is also common, Watts said, and various pieces were seized in this operation.

Asked what kind of impact the seizures and arrests had on the organized crime group, Watts said: “I would say it put a significant dent.”

“To lose this much product and to lose this many firearms,” Watts went on, “is very significant.”

He said the firearms are still being traced to determine where they came from.

On Feb. 15, police arrested a 42-year-old man in Ottawa. Arrest warrants have also been issued for a 34-year-old man and a 33-year-old man, both of Toronto.

All three will face multiple firearm and drug charges.

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