Project Riverbank – “Inter-Provincial Illicit Drug Network Dismantled”

Winnipeg Police release crime statistics
Winnipeg Police

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Police Service has announced that in partnership with police agencies across Western Canada they have made a major drug bust. The Chief of Police, Danny Smyth says it is the biggest drug bust he has seen in his thirty-year policing career.

Over three million dollars in drugs and property was seized as a result of the operation. The Winnipeg Police hosted the media today in Winnipeg showing some of the materials seized including a Chevrolet Corvette and a Volvo Semi Rig truck. The execution of the search warrants required more than 300 police members working collectively across Western Canada. One hundred and fifty-eight (158) WPS members and thirty-five (35) RCMP members were involved in arrests and search warrants in Winnipeg. Twenty (20) Edmonton Police Service members and 1 WPS member assembled in Edmonton, and a fifty-six (56) RCMP member team was required in British Columbia to execute search warrants. Additionally, thirty-one (31) members of the  Regina Police Service executed 4 search warrants independently that related back to information that was obtained during this project.

As the scope of the investigation expanded inter-provincially, the Winnipeg Police Service partnered with the RCMP, and other law enforcement agencies to assist with this complex organized crime investigation.

The nearly 10-month investigation concluded on October 18, 2018, where a total of 16 search warrants were executed across the prairie provinces; 8 residences in Winnipeg, 4 in Regina, 1 in Edmonton and 2 residences and 1 additional property in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

This effort took an enormous amount of co-ordination and co-operation across many jurisdictions.

Eleven Kilos of Cocaine Seized

There were also major quantities of cocaine seized, 11 kilos of cocaine. There were a number of other drugs seized as well including 4.5 pounds of marihuana. The message of removing marihuana from the streets under the legalization of cannabis was being sent in this operation.

The Winnipeg Police state, “Illicit drug use presents an urgent and growing threat to our community and public health. Illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and ketamine continue to be a risk to the safety and well-being of all citizens. Addiction, property crime, and acts of violence are often a result of the drug subculture.:

In order to combat the current crisis, the Winnipeg Police Service has implemented an Illicit Drug Strategy that includes elements of enforcement, intervention, awareness, and education.

One of the primary goals of the WPS Organized Crime Division is to disrupt the illicit drug market through enforcement.

The Organized Crime Division initiated Project Riverbank in early 2018. This investigation targeted a sophisticated criminal drug network that supplied a variety of illicit drugs through a supply chain across the western provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.

The following 10 adults were arrested and charged with a total of 156 criminal code offences related to conspiracy and trafficking of a controlled substance, firearms, and proceeds of crime.

  • Mohammad Shakil Khan, 39 yrs. of Vancouver, BC
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
    • Assault
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
    • Possession of a Weapon
    • Possession of a Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized
    • Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
    • Careless Storage of a Firearm, Weapon Prohibited Device or Ammunition
    • Possession of a Firearm, Prohibited or Restricted Weapon Obtained by Crime
    • Possession of a Firearm, Restricted/Prohibited Weapon or Ammunition Contrary to Prohibition Order x 2
  • Mason Joaquin Burg, 24 yrs. of Winnipeg, MB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
    • Possession of a Weapon
    • Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
    • Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm with Ammunition
    • Careless Storage of a Firearm, Weapon, Prohibited Device or Ammunition
    • Assault
    • Possession of a Firearm, Prohibited or Restricted Weapon Obtained by Crime
    • Extortion
  • Allan Ronald Rodney, 70 yrs. of Surrey, BC
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000 x 2
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
  • Shontal Vaupotic, 32 yrs. of Surrey, BC
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000 x 2
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
  • Herbert Mejia-Orellana-Delgado, 29 yrs. of Edmonton, AB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Selling (Cannabis)(Edmonton)
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)(Edmonton)
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000 (Edmonton)
  • Daniel Jason Finkbeiner, 30 yrs. of Winnipeg, MB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Heroin)
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Selling (Cannabis)
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
  • Lisa Dawn Hallson 32, yrs. of Winnipeg, MB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine) x 2
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Methamphetamine)
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Heroin)
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Oxycodone)
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5000
  • Amanda Marie Borges, 27 yrs. of Winnipeg, MB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
    • Possession of a Scheduled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine)
    • Possession Proceeds of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5000
    • Possession of a Weapon
    • Fail to Comply with Probation Order x 4
    • Fail to Comply Conditions of an Undertaking
    • Darci Ann Geiger, 33 yrs. of Winnipeg, MB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Ketamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Heroin) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Methamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (MDMA Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) x 2
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Proceeds of Crime) x 3
  • William Junior Fuller, 22 yrs of Winnipeg, MB
    • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 2
    • Possession of Scheduled Substance (Cocaine)

 

Manitoba Seizures and Values

Cash:
Cash total (approximate) $121,000
   
Firearms
Walther P99 9mm semi-automatic
handgun and ammunition
 
Drugs seized in MB:
3 kg Methamphetamine $105,000
11 kg Cocaine $660,000
2 kg Ketamine $14,000
6 oz Heroin $42,000
4.5 lb Marihuana $9,000
21 kg of cutting agent $14,700
20 Oxycodone Pills $800

Total Street Value Drug seized
$845,500
   
Vehicles seized in MB:
2019 Volvo Tractor $266,000
2018 Ford F450 $91,000
2013 Construction Trailer $7,500
2002 Subaru $3,500
2010 Honda Civic $4,500
2011 BMW 328xi $10,000
2014 Chev Camaro $16,000
2013 Nissan Sentra $6,000
   
Value of vehicles seized $404,500

British Columbia Seizures and Values

Cash:
Cash total (approximate) $250,000
Vehicles Seized in BC:
2018 Dodge Ram 3500 $90,000
2018 Dodge Durango $50,000
2017 Porsche 911 $160,000
2018 BMW M4 $78,000
2016 McLaren 650s $400,000
2018 Harley Davidson $25,000
2016 Open Range  Trailer $75,000
Sting Ray Boat $50,000
2014 Karavan Boat Trailer $3,000
2016 Mercedes CLA250 $30,000
2004 Suzuki GSXR $5,000
Value of vehicles seized $966,000

Alberta Seizures and Values

Drugs, Vehicles and Cash Seized in AB  
2017 Jeep Cherokee $13,000
2 oz Cocaine $4,000
4 lb of Marihuana $8,000
Cash $2,000

Total value of seizures in AB
$27,000

Saskatchewan Seizures and Values

Drugs, Vehicles and Cash Seized in SK:  
2005 Chevrolet Corvette $20,000
1999 Ford F150 $5,000
1 kg Methamphetamine $35,000
333 g Psilocybin $5,000
22 g Cocaine $1,760
Cash $5,740
Total value of seizures in SK $72,500
   

In summary the combined value of drugs, property, and cash seized is approximately $2.7 million. (Drugs seized – $899,260; vehicles seized – $1,408,500; cash seized – $378,740.)

This investigation demonstrates the ability of the WPS Organized Crime Division to collaborate with other law enforcement agencies and prosecutions to detect, disrupt and dismantle criminal organizations.

The Winnipeg Police Service would like to acknowledge the support of other involved police agencies that assisted with this investigation: the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Vancouver Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, and Regina Police Service.