Thunder Bay Police Make Big Drug Bust

Posted 17 June 2011 by in CrimeBeat

breaking newsTHUNDER BAY – The Thunder Bay Police Service in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Toronto Police Service and the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service has dismantled a complex drug distribution network. Six Thunder Bay men were arrested in city wide raids on Thursday June 16, 2011. These individuals are facing multiple charges relating to Conspiracy and Trafficking of illicit drugs.

The arrests were the culmination of a 16 month Thunder Bay Police Service led undercover investigation named Project Dolphin. This extensive investigation included drug, property and cash seizures relating to the trafficking of illicit drugs in the city of Thunder Bay and communities in Northwestern Ontario.

A Thunder Bay based organized crime group with multiple drug distribution cells was the focus of Project Dolphin.

On June 16, 2011 officers with our partner agencies executed 15 search warrants in the City of Thunder Bay. Six individuals, who are alleged to be key figures in the distribution of illicit drugs, were arrested at various locations in Thunder Bay. In addition, 2 other individuals were also arrested in connection with the investigation.

A large quantity of illicit drugs, cash and personal property was seized yesterday:

• 26 lbs of Marijuana

• 1 Kg Cocaine

• 2,000 Oxycodone pills

• 46 lbs Hash oil

• 5 vehicles

• Cash

The value of the drugs seized Thursday is estimated at nearly 1 million dollars. Cash and property seized is valued at approximately $120,000.

The R.C.M.P. Integrated Proceeds of Crime Unit based in London Ontario are conducting a parallel proceeds of crime investigation and have been liaising with the Thunder Bay Police Service. Their investigation continues.

Project History: Since February of 2010, a number of warrants were executed during the course of the investigation. Over 61 individuals have been charged with drug offences involving cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy pills and opiate based prescription drugs.

Controlled substances seized prior to June 16, 2011 included 2759 grams of Cocaine, 30,500 grams Marijuana 4,300 Oxycodone tablets and 54 Ecstasy tablets. The street value of the drugs is estimated at approximately 1.2 million dollars. Approximately $188,000 in cash was also seized during the investigation.

As of Friday June 17, 2011 Project Dolphin has resulted in seizures of over 2.1 million dollars in illicit drugs and nearly $500,000 in cash and property.

Community Impact:

The focus and results of this investigation to date has identified and addressed a criminal enterprise which has been profiting from the high demand for illicit and highly addictive drugs such as Oxycodone. Thunder Bay has been a hub for the distribution of these drugs to many northern communities. The negative social impact of this criminal activity has been felt on a daily basis in all Northwestern Ontario Communities.

The following individuals were arrested and charged on June 16, 2011:

Fancesco Muzzi – 26 years of age – Thunder Bay

Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (7 counts)

Conspiracy to Traffic (2 counts)

Proceeds of Crime Over $5,000 (7 counts)

Tai Duc Ong – 41 years of age – Thunder Bay

Conspiracy to Traffic (2 counts)

Conspiring to Obstruct Justice

Obstruct Justice

Failure to Comply with a Recognizance (2 counts)

Francesco Bennardo – 35 years of age – Thunder Bay

Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (4 counts)

Proceeds of Crime Over $5,000 (2 counts)

Proceeds of Crime Under $5,000 (2 counts)

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking

Virgil Terea Baya – 32 years of age – Thunder Bay

Trafficking (3 counts)

Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Proceeds of Crime Over $5,000 (5 counts)

Conspiracy to Traffic (2 counts)

Peter Brian Chiodo – 34 years of age – Thunder Bay

Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (2 counts)

Possession of Stolen Property Over $5,000

Possession of Stolen Property Under $5,000

Ryan Smith – 23 years of age – Thunder Bay

Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (7 counts)

Conspiracy to Traffic (2 counts)

Proceeds of Crime Over $5,000 (8 counts)

Possession for the Purpose

The following persons were also charged as a result of Thursday’s police operation:

Eugene Guiseppe Caruso– 37 years of age – Thunder Bay

Possession for the Purpose

Possession of a Controlled Substance

Unsafe Storage of a Firearm

All persons listed are appearing in court today.

The investigation is continuing and more charges are expected.

 

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