Eight police agencies worked together to stop a drug trafficking operation and seize millions of dollars worth of drugs.
Since May, the Winnipeg Police Service's (WPS) Organized Crime Unit began investigating firearms trafficking. Not long after the investigation began, police learnt that it was not only firearms being trafficked.
"Investigators learned that large amounts of drugs were also being trafficked by the network," a Thursday statement from the WPS says.
This investigation required the help of many other agencies, including the Edmonton Police Service Gang Enforcement Unit, the Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau and the RCMP Organized Crime Unit. ATF, Canada Border Services and the Correctional Services of Canada, and FINTRAC.
Sixteen search warrants were issued, including two at Stony Mountain Penitentiary. The others include four in Winnipeg, four in Alberta, three in Anola, and three in the Greater Toronto Area.
From this, 12 people were arrested.
"Two of those arrested face charges related to smuggling large quantities of drugs and contraband into Stony Mountain Penitentiary and Collins Bay Institution through the use of drones."
An estimated $700,000 worth of drugs were seized at Stony Mountain Penitentiary.
Six people have been charged, all in the first two weeks of December. Police say numerous bank accounts have been frozen.
Drugs seized include:
- 30 kilograms of methamphetamine ($2.6 million Estimated Street Value)
- 15 kilograms of cocaine ($1.6 million ESV)
- 6 kilograms of fentanyl ($2.75 million ESV)
- 100 kilograms of marihuana ($500,000 ESV)
- smaller amounts of heroin, ecstasy, and psilocybin ($330,000 ESV)
- 1 kg of cutting agent ($1,200)
Forty firearms were also seized. Police say 11 vehicles, four snowmobiles, three trailers, and a Bobcat worth a total of $381,000 have been seized.
Suspects being charged include:
- a 30-year-old male from Winnipeg being charged with 20 separate firearms offences
- a 40-year-old male from Anola being charged with six firearms-related offences and four counts of conspiracy
- a 20-year-old man from Winnipeg being charged with possessing and trafficking in firearms and four counts of conspiracy
- a 25-year-old woman being charged with trafficking (controlled substance) and conspiracy
- a 36-year-old man from Alberta being charged with trafficking (controlled substance), and conspiracy
- a 35-year-old man from Winnipeg being charged with ix firearms-related offences and trafficking (controlled substance)
All six suspects are in custody.