Three Persons Face Drug Trafficking Charges in Thunder Bay’s Largest Ever Fentanyl Bust

Gun Seized in Raid - Image Thunder Bay Police Service
Gun Seized in Raid - Image Thunder Bay Police Service

THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Police have made the largest fentanyl seizure in the service’s history. Police report to media that “An investigation into ongoing drug trafficking activity that started in the fall of 2019 has led to the service’s largest-ever single fentanyl seizure in the Thunder Bay.

The Thunder Bay Police Service’s Intelligence Unit began an active investigation, which focused on an address in the 500 block of Van Norman Street, in October of 2019.

Individuals identified via this investigation were believed to be supplying drug houses, commonly referred to as trap houses, throughout the city.

Those ongoing efforts led investigators to obtain a search warrant, which was executed with assistance from the OPP just before 6:45 pm on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

When police entered the residence they located and arrested two female accused persons. Meanwhile, in an upstairs bathroom, officers located a male accused. The male attempted to lock himself inside a bathroom. The suspect was arrested after a brief struggle with police officers.

As a result of the search of the home, police located and seized a large quantity of suspected fentanyl, a large quantity of crack cocaine, a large quantity of cocaine, about $150,000 CAD, a handgun and paraphernalia consistent with drug trafficking.

The total estimated street value of drugs seized amounts to nearly $400,000. More than one pound (570 grams) of fentanyl and about 700 grams of Cocaine was seized as a result of this investigation.

Didier Denzel KONGOLO, 21, of Toronto is charged with:
• Possession of Fentanyl for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
• Obstruct Peace Officer
• Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm
• Careless Storage of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized

Verdiana LAMA, 20, of Mississauga, Ont., is charged with:
• Possession of Fentanyl for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
• Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm
• Careless Storage of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized

Janneka Lauren MARTINEZ, 24, of Manchester, England, is charged with:
• Possession of Fentanyl for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000
• Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm
• Careless Storage of a Firearm
• Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm
• Possession of a Prohibited or Restricted Firearm Knowing its Possession is Unauthorized

All three appeared in bail court on Thursday, June 4 and were remanded into custody with future appearance dates.

None of the charges have been proven in court.