Police seize grenade launchers, drugs and guns in multi-city Ontario bust
Ontario police say they have dismantled four separate drug and weapons cartels with ties to biker gangs operating in multiple cities across the southwest.
Ontario Provincial Police said Thursday the undercover operation dubbed "Project Weaver" has led to 10 arrests and 268 offences, as well as the seizure of two grenade launchers, dozens of grenades, firearms and an assortment of narcotics, including cocaine and illegal cannabis.
Police said the suspects were operating primarily in London and Brantford but search warrants carried out on March 9 also occurred in Lancaster, Oakland, Paris, St. Thomas and Barrie.
"As our investigators continued to collect evidence and intelligence, we were able to identify four distinct and unrelated criminal networks responsible for trafficking firearms, explosives, cocaine and cannabis," said Det. Sgt Scott Wade.
"The first network includes members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club in the London area responsible for trafficking cocaine and large quantities of illegal cannabis and a loaded firearm."
A second alleged criminal network trafficking firearms and cannabis was also operating in London, Wade said, noting Project Weaver began eight months ago.
The other two organizations, according to police, were based in Brantford. They are accused of moving firearms, cocaine and explosive devices between that city and Hamilton.
"These offensive weapons include grenades, a grenade launcher and explosive projectiles," Wade said.
Police point to the collaborative nature of the investigation, noting 22 municipal services were involved in the investigation that is still ongoing.
Police said they still don't know the origin of the 31 firearms seized, noting only that some are from Canada while others came from the United States. Investigators with the Canadian Armed Forces said they are confident they have identified the source of the explosives, which did not come from the Canadian Military.
Here's what police seized:
Two grenade launchers
22 other prohibited devices
Three explosive projectiles
10.85 kilograms of cocaine
216 pounds of illegal cannabis
Five pounds of hash
More than $10,000 in other illegal cannabis products
36 pounds of psilocybin
715 grams of MDMA
One Outlaws MC vest
$127,757 in Canadian currency
$2,106 in US currency