Project OSWORDTAIL Sees Major Illegal Drugs Seized and 16 Arrests on 74 Charges

Cocaine, Fentanyl and other drugs and contraband tobacco seized in joint task force drug raids
Cocaine, Fentanyl and other drugs and contraband tobacco seized in joint task force drug raids

TORONTO – Another major drug bust, this one in Southern Ontario. Investigators at the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), have arrested twelve males and four females on seventy-four offenses related to criminal activity involving the importation, exportation, and distribution of cocaine, fentanyl, heroin, opium, and ketamine. These arrests, along with sixteen search warrants, were carried out by a team of officers from police services in and surrounding the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

In August 2019, the CFSEU-GTA commenced an investigation called Project OSWORDTAIL that focused on various criminal groups operating within the GTA. This joint-forces investigation was multi-jurisdictional and international in scope. The investigation revealed several organized crime cells that were involved in criminal activities related to drug importation, exportation, distribution, and possession of proceeds of crime. Following an in-depth investigation of these criminal cells, CFSEU investigators established that they were led by a number of different individuals who were identified and charged.

During the Project OSWORDTAIL investigation, CFSEU seized more than 35 kilograms of cocaine, 5 kilograms of fentanyl, heroin, opium, 30 kilograms of an unidentified white powder, over $200,000 in cash, 275 cartons of illegal cigarettes and 3 vehicles modified with hidden compartments as offense-related property.

The following people were arrested and charged:

John Palumbo, (M), 61 years old from Vaughan, ON:

  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Fentanyl), contrary to the

Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA)

  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Fentanyl), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Fentanyl), contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Fentanyl), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Heroin), contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Heroin), contrary to the CDSA
  • Attempt Traffic Schedule I Substance (Percocet pills), contrary to the CDSA
  • Attempt Traffic Schedule I Substance (Percocet pills), contrary to the Criminal Code (CC)
  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime under $5000 x 3, contrary to the CC
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime over $5000 x 3, contrary to the CC

Ravi Shanker, (M), 58 years old from Brampton, ON:

  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Cocaine) x 2, contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Cocaine) x 2, contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine) x2, contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine) x2, contrary to the CC
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Fail to comply with recognizance, contrary to the CC
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime over $5000, contrary to the CC

Sukhsimrat Pawar, (M), 39 years old from Brampton, ON:

  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine) x 2, contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to export Schedule I Substance (Cocaine) x 2, contrary to the CC
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Possession for the purpose of Trafficking Schedule I Substance (Opium), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime over $5000 x 2 contrary to the CC 

Harvinder Singh, (M), 42 years old from Cambridge ON:

  • Trafficking in Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC

Satinderjit Singh Khaira, (M), 48 years old from Cambridge ON:

  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to traffic Schedule I Substance (Cocaine), contrary to the CC

Phung David Nguyen, (M), 33 years old from Toronto, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine) x 2, contrary to the CDSA
  • Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 3, contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine) x 3, contrary to the CC

Cuy Ceen, (M), 47 years old from Toronto, ON:

  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime over $5000, contrary to the CC

Brian Brum, (M), 40 years old from Georgetown, ON:

  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime over $5000, contrary to the CC

Steven Uth, (M), 32 years old from Bradford, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Ketamine), contrary to the CDSA

Hua Thao Tran, (F), 27 years old from Bradford, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Fentanyl), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Ketamine), contrary to the CDSA

Hieu Thien Cao, (M), 38 years old from Guelph, ON:

  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Conspiracy to Traffic (Cocaine), contrary to the CC
  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA
  • Possession Proceeds of Crime over $5000, contrary to the CC

Thi Queyen Vu, (F), 35 years old from Guelph, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA

Anh Le, (F), 33 years old from Toronto, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA

Singh Ngo, (M), 60 years old from Toronto, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA 

Thi Anh Nguyen, (F), 59 years old from Toronto, ON:

  • Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Cocaine), contrary to the CDSA 

Kristoffer Risley, (M), 42 years old from Richmond Hill, ON:

– Breach of Recognizance, contrary to the CC

“Project OSWORDTAIL demonstrated that transnational organized crime groups capitalize on opportunities to increase their profits by operating during the COVID 19 pandemic with little regard for the safety of others. Police will continue to investigate and prosecute these types of criminal enterprises to ensure public safety,” said by InspectorJonathan Ko, Officer in Charge of the Greater Toronto Area Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit. “The members of CFSEU are committed and dedicated to ensuring public safety by ensuring the people committing these crimes are held accountable”

CFSEU is a multi-jurisdictional operation which includes the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police, Toronto Police Service, Peel Regional Police, Durham Regional Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service and the Canada Border Services Agency that is specifically tasked with the mandate to expose, investigate, prosecute and dismantle organized criminal enterprises.

Recognizing the Signs of a Possible Drug House in your Neighbourhood

If a property is being used for an illegal activity you may notice some common signs.

Seeing one of these signs doesn’t always mean illegal activity is going on, but if they happen often or together, a problem may exist.

Some common signs of illegal activity include:

  • frequent visitors at all times of the day and night
  • frequent late night activity
  • extensive home security
  • residents that are rarely seen, distant or secretive
  • windows blackened or curtains always drawn
  • neglected property and yard
  • people repeatedly visiting the property who only go to the door for a short time
  • residents who regularly meet vehicles near the property for a short time
  • strange odors coming from the house or garbage
  • garbage that contains numerous bottles and containers, particularly chemical containers
  • putting garbage in a neighbor’s collection area

If there’s a suspicious property in your neighborhood, don’t investigate it or approach its residents. You can safely and confidentially report a suspicious property to law enforcement agencies to work diligently to make our communities a safer place to live, however, your assistance in remaining vigilant and informing us of any suspicious activities will help us be even more successful. If you wish to report any type of criminality, you can contact your local police, the Ontario RCMP at 1-800-387-0020, or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), at any time.