Project Sideshow Targeted Organized Crime
WINNIPEG – Crimebeat – Winnipeg Police are reporting success in an ongoing operation against hard drugs.
In the spring of 2012 the Winnipeg Police Service Organized Crime Unit commenced Project Sideshow, targeting an Organized Crime Group that operates across Canada importing Cocaine, Methamphetamine and MDMA (Ecstasy) into Winnipeg for further distribution. The group includes the highest level drug traffickers in Winnipeg.
Over an eighteen month period, police utilized court authorized techniques to intercept communication between drug traffickers. Further authorizations were used to covertly observe, photograph and sample their drugs. The following was documented;
- 92 kilograms of cocaine (estimated street value of $5,000,000.00)
- 3½ kilograms of methamphetamine (estimated street value of $192,000.00)
- 1 kilogram of MDMA (Ecstasy) (estimated street value of $20,000.00)
- Over $4,300,000.00 cash from proceeds of drug sales
The actual amounts of drugs and cash travelling back and forth are believed to far exceed the amounts observed.
Additionally, police collected evidence of money laundering in which the proceeds from the sale of illicit drugs were laundered through the use of privately owned ATM machines located within Winnipeg businesses.
On February 5th, 2014 nineteen search warrants were executed and fourteen individuals were arrested in Winnipeg and British Columbia. The following was seized:
- $301,800.00 Canadian currency
- Over 5 kilograms of Cocaine
- 1.5 kilograms of MDMA (ecstasy)
- 17 ounces of Ketamine
- 3 pounds of Cannabis Marihuana
- Over 8 kilograms cutting agent
- Drug trafficking paraphernalia (i.e. packaging materials, scales, cell phones, a vacuum sealer and a money counter)
- 9 mm semi-automatic handgun
- Sawed off 12 gauge shotgun (prohibited)
- Olympic arms assault rifle
- Ammunition and magazines
- Ballistic vest
- 9 Vehicles including one Motorcycle
- 6 ATM machines (from 4 locations)