Simcoe–Muskoka Drug Investigation Results In 29 Arrests And 279 Criminal Charges

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Seized items sit on display while OPP Deputy Commissioner Chuck Cox and Chief Kimberley Greenwood of the Barrie Police Service answer questions from the media on Nov. 19.

The Barrie Police Service (BPS) and the OPP revealed Tuesday that 29 people have been arrested and 279 criminal charges have been laid following a several month long investigation into drug distribution in the Simcoe-Muskoka area.

Barrie Police and the OPP held a press conference at the BPS headquarters to discuss the details of Project Shoreham, which began as a mid-summer investigation by members of the BPS Street Crime Unit. The operation grew after authorities determined a group with connections to the Greater Toronto Area chose Barrie and Angus as distribution locations for cocaine, fentanyl and meth, which would then be trafficked and sold throughout Simcoe County and Muskoka, according to police. Overall, police seized 5 grams of fentanyl, 11,378 grams of methamphetamine and 3,704 grams of cocaine as well as three handguns, two rifles, a shotgun and almost $24,000 in Canadian currency. The fentanyl seized equates to 6,500 street-level doses, according to police, and the drug can be lethal in quantities as small as two milligrams.

The investigation resulted in seven arrests by BPS and 22 by the OPP as well 100 criminal charges laid by Barrie Police and 179 by the OPP. A total of 28 Criminal Code and CDSA Search Warrants were executed during the investigation as well. The 29 people that were arrested are now before the court and have either been remanded in custody or have future court dates, according to police. 

“Project Shoreham stands as an example of law enforcement agencies working together for one common goal: to hold people responsible for distributing these drugs, and to relentlessly endeavour to protect our citizens,” said OPP Deputy Commissioner Chuck Cox, who acts as provincial commander for Investigations and Organized Crime.

Image courtesy of Barrie Police and the OPP

BPS received assistance from the OPP to execute the initial search warrant on a storage locker in Innisfil in early September, which yielded a number of firearms and drugs. Four additional search warrants were executed later that week, in which cocaine, cannabis, crystal meth and heroin that contained fentanyl were seized. Police also seized six motor vehicles including three Mercedes-Benzes, an Audi, a BMW and a 2019 Toyota Tundra pickup as well as about $20,000 in stolen property still in boxes from a recent break and enter.

As the investigation expanded north, the OPP Central Region Community Street Crime Units and the Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau assisted in investigations. Additional search warrants, including those executed in the Silver Sands Tent and Trailer Park area of Huntsville, resulted in the seizure of opioids, methamphetamine, other controlled substances and firearms.

“To those wishing to establish what you may believe to be complex drug distribution networks, our communities are not open for this type of business,” said Chief Kimberley Greenwood of the Barrie Police Service. “Through our ongoing commitment to our communities, the police will collectively use all the available resources, tools and investigative techniques that may be necessary to effectively eliminate your activity and rid our streets of criminal activity.” 

With files from Stefan Ottenbrite

Posted by Muskoka411 News on Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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