A man has been sentenced to 15 years behind bars and eight others have yet to be sentenced following a year-long investigation into fentanyl trafficking in the Greater Toronto Area, Halton Regional Police say.
The 31-year-old man from Markham, Ont. was charged with multiple offences, including two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking in fentanyl as part of the "Project Mover" investigation, which began in Halton in late 2019.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of 10.25 kilograms of fentanyl with a value of more than $4 million, the largest fentanyl seizure in the history of the Halton police service.
The group as a whole faced 30 charges when they were arrested, according to police.
In a news release Wednesday, police said the case has established a precedent where 15 years will be the estimated starting sentence for charges "resulting from possessing multiple kilograms of fentanyl."
"This is the longest sentence ever handed out on a drug-related charge laid by the Halton Regional Police Service," the service said.
During the course of the pandemic, fentanyl has been identified as "a direct contributor" to 87 per cent of opioid-related deaths in the province, said Deputy Chief of Regional Operations Jeff Hill.