Operation Gordonvale Busts Kenora Cocaine Ring

Operation Gordonvale has seen thirty eight arrests, and a quarter of a million in drugs seized.
Operation Gordonvale has seen thirty eight arrests, and a quarter of a million in drugs seized.

Operation Gordonvale has seen thirty eight arrests, and a quarter of a million in drugs seized.
Operation Gordonvale has seen thirty eight arrests, and a quarter of a million in drugs seized.

Kenora Coke Ring Busted by Police Sting Operation

KENORA – Operation Gordonvale has resulted in 38 arrests and a quarter of a million in drugs being seized.  The OPP, Dryden Police, RCMP, Treaty Three Police, and Anishinabek Police Service have completed a drug sting operation that has resulted in the arrests. The focus the investigation was to disrupt a drug distribution network being operated from Winnipeg which police said supplies Kenora with illegal drugs.

The investigation, codenamed Project Gordonvale was a task force of the five police services working together. On Friday, the police executed ten search warrants, and arrested thirty-eight people who now face numerous charges, and are accused of operating a cocaine ring in Kenora.

Project Gordonvale has been ongoing for several months. The sting operation engaged with two undercover officers who were able to get inside the suspected drug ring itself.

174 Criminal Code Charges Laid

The Crown has laid 174 Criminal Code charges against the individuals following the execution of the ten search warrants in Kenora, Wauzhushk Onigum (Rat Portage) First Nation, and Winnipeg, Manitoba between Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013 and Thursday Oct. 17, 2013.

The drugs purchased and seized during the investigation included cocaine, marihuana, morphine pills, and heroin.

Also seized in the operation was an amount of cash in excess of $18,000 in Canadian currency and offence related property including four motor vehicles.

“This investigation found evidence of numerous Kenora residents being involved in the distribution of cocaine which originated from a sophisticated cocaine trafficking network operating out of Winnipeg,” said Detective Inspertor Chris Harkins of the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau at a press conference at the Kenora OPP headquarters on Friday morning, Oct. 18.

Trafficking Illegal Drugs Not Tolerated – Police

“Project Gordonvale sends a clear and strong message to criminal organizations that criminal activity such as trafficking illegal drugs will not be tolerated. This investigation clearly demonstrates our ability to work together to keep communities safe,”

The OPP state, “The investigation began with an OPP intelligence probe in August of 2012 which showed drug trafficking in Kenora was on the rise and that drugs from the ring were being sent as far east as Dryden”.

Those arrested are in ages ranging from from the mid twenties to individuals in their fifties.

Most have been charged mostly with drug trafficking, but w some are being charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.

Including the drugs seized as a result of Project Gordonvale, Police also seized a large number of weapons ranging from rifles to stun guns.

Several of the stun guns, which are prohibited weapons, were disguised to look like cell phones.

Four vehicles were also seized and are being kept as evidence.

When asked if the supplier who fed the Kenora drug ring had ties to larger

Authorities are confident the breaking of the drug ring will have a serious effect on the flow of drugs into Kenora.

“Arresting that many people in a city the size of Kenora is sure to have an impact on the drug supply. We’re hoping it will be a long-term impact, but we’ll still be going out tomorrow like we always do and if we see something we’ll start all over again,” stated Detective Sergeant Dwain Hill, the head of the OPP drug unit in Kenora.

“In order to establish our policing priorities in the Kenora area we complete extensive consultation with various agencies and groups including but not limited to schools, First Nations communities, police services boards and city council. We heard loud and clear that drug trafficking and drug use was the top of the list,” said Kenora OPP Detachment Commander Insp. Dave Lucas. “Drug trafficking is a very serious threat to public safety but also to public health, education and the overall quality of life in our communities.”

Police said they are planning to do similar investigations together in the future.

Arrests in Project Gordonvale

Paul Leroux, 27, Kenora – 18 charges of trafficking cocaine/marijuana and two of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Jodi LeBlanc, 23, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine, two of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and a charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Ian Redsky, 26, Kenora – one charge of possession of cocaine, a charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence and one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Timothy Wally Durbin, 25, Kenora – three charges of trafficking cocaine/marijuana, two of possession of an illegal substance and two of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Jory Smith, 25, Wauzhushk Onigum (Rat Portage) First Nation – a charge of trafficking marijuana, a charge of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and two of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Paul Warmbier, 24, Kenora – four charges of trafficking HydroMorphone/cocaine, a charge of possession for the purpose of trafficking and two of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Kara Cederwall, 29, Kenora – three charges of trafficking HydroMorphone/cocaine and two charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Ray Krawicki, 43, Kenora – one charge of unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon, one charge of weapons trafficking, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Russell Makara, 29, Kenora – six charges of trafficking cocaine, marijuana, fentanyl and morphine, four charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, two charges of possession of an illegal substance, four charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and one charge of unauthorized possession of a firearm;

Ryan LeBlanc, 27, Winnipeg – ten charges of trafficking cocaine/heroin and five charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Bojan Kosanji, 28, Winnipeg – one charge of trafficking cocaine and a charge of failing to comply with recognizance;

Jason Tkachyk, 19, Kenora – three charges of trafficking cocaine and three charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Chris Kitt, 28, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine and a charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Tim Wiebe, 35, Kenora – two charges of trafficking cocaine and a charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Shasha Skead, 29, Rat Portage First Nation – one charge of trafficking cocaine and a charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Jason Swanson, 28, Kenora – one charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence;

Miranda Elder, 27, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Liam Seller, 34, Kenora – two charges of trafficking cocaine;

Peter Chevrefils, 48, Kenora – one charge of conspiracy to commit an indictable offence;

Tyler Allison. 24, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine;

Jordan Chesterfield, 45, Winnipeg – one charge of trafficking cocaine, two charges of breach of recognizance;

Rose Delorme, 53, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine, two charges of possession of cocaine for purpose of trafficking, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000;

Derek Pencoff, 31, Kenora – two charges of trafficking cocaine and a charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000

Cheyenne Cochrane, 22, Kenora – two charges of trafficking marijuana, two charges of possession of marijuana

Mario Zinkiewicz, 50, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000

Kevin Wetendorf, 23, Kenora – one charge of trafficking cocaine, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000

Shanalee Paulson, 32, Kenora – six charges of trafficking cocaine, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, one charge of possession of cocaine

Arnold Fox, 25, Rat Portage First Nation – one charge of trafficking cocaine, one charge of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000

Matt Moyer, 30, Kenora – six charges of trafficking cocaine, four charges of possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000, one charge of conspiracy to commit and indictable offence, one charge of weapons trafficking.

Patrick Savoyard, 47, Kenora – one charge of trafficking marijuana, one charge of possession of marijuana

This list is not complete as there are still charges to be sworn before the court.

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