Crimebeat – “One of North Western Ontario’s most significant criminal organizations has been dismantled”

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NNLCRIMEbeatTHUNDER BAY – Crimebeat – As first reported on NetNewsledger, Thunder Bay Police Service in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the Ontario Provincial Police, the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service and the Anishinabek Police Service have made another series of arrests in the continuation of Operation Dolphin. Police say “One of North Western Ontario’s most significant criminal organizations has been dismantled with a number of arrests yesterday (Wednesday April 11, 2012) in Thunder Bay. The arrests included the alleged head of the drug distribution and trafficking network which was the subject of Project Dolphin”.

Project Dolphin was an extensive undercover investigation undertaken in 2010 by 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.

Read June 2011 Story on Operation Dolphin.

Project Dolphin History: A milestone in Project Dolphin occurred on June 16, 2011 when officers with our partner agencies executed 15 search warrants in the City of Thunder Bay. Seven 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.

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

During the execution of the initial search warrants and arrests in Thunder Bay in June 2011, a number of electronic communications devices including phones and computers were seized. An examination of these devices by the T.B.P.S. Cyber Crime Unit with the assistance of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Technological Crime Branch furthered the investigation and provided evidence to support new arrests and charges.

It is alleged that this criminal organization used sophisticated methods for communications relating to the trafficking and distribution of drugs. The arrests included the alleged head of the criminal enterprise, 38 year old John Harry Tsekouras.

The culmination of Wednesday’s arrests illustrates a hierarchical and well organized criminal enterprise which involved the trafficking of drugs including Cocaine, Marihuana and Oxycodone. It is alleged that this organization had supply and distribution contacts with other criminal enterprises included the Hells Angels and other organized crime groups in western Canada and Montreal.

April 11, 2012 Arrests:

John Harry Tsekouras – 38 year old Thunder Bay resident
• Director – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.13(1) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Marijuana Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Trafficking Cocaine contrary to Section 5(1) C.D.S.A.
• Trafficking Marijuana contrary to Section 5(1) C.D.S.A.

Male To Be Named At Later Date – 27 years old Thunder Bay resident
• Director – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.13(1) C.C.
• Participant – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.11(1) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Marijuana Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Oxycodone Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Trafficking Cocaine contrary to Section 5(1) C.D.S.A.
• Trafficking Marijuana contrary to Section 5(1) C.D.S.A.

Keith John Ritchie – 28 year old Thunder Bay resident
• Participant – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.11(1) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Marijuana Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Trafficking Cocaine contrary to Section 5(1) C.D.S.A.
• Trafficking Marijuana contrary to Section 5(1) C.D.S.A.

Roberto Dennis Chiodo – 42 year old Thunder Bay resident
• Participant – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.11(1) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Cocaine Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Conspiracy to Traffic Marijuana Contrary to Section 465(1)(c) C.C.
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking Cocaine Contrary to Section 5(2) CDSA
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking Oxycodone Contrary to Section 5(2) CDSA
• Possession of Marihuana Contrary to Section 4(1) CDSA

Travis Garth Gordon– 27 year old Thunder Bay resident
• Participant – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.11(1) C.C.

Rory Pelletier – 41 year old Thunder Bay resident
• Participant – Criminal Organization contrary to Section 467.11(1) C.C.
• Possession of a prohibited weapon Contrary to Section 91(2) C.C. (Butterfly knife)
• Possession of Marihuana Contrary to Section 4(1) CDSA

The accused will be held for a show cause hearing. The investigation continues.

Here is the video from the first raids last year: