THUNDER BAY – Thunder Bay Police Service invested a lot of time and effort into Operation Dolphin. Today following the sentencing in court, Thunder Bay Chief of Police JP Lesveque commended the efforts of police officers and services in working together to secure the conviction.
Today in Thunder Bay Police held a press conference to discuss the case. Here is the video from some of the early arrests in the operation:
Today following the conviction in Thunder Bay of John Harry Tskouras, Chief of Police JP Lesveque made this statement:
A significant blow has been dealt this week to one of Northwestern Ontario’s most significant criminal organizations. The conviction this week of 40 year old John Harry Tskouras on a number of drug trafficking offences resulting from Project Dolphin, is seen as a significant victory in police efforts to impact the lucrative criminal drug trade in our community.
The outcome of this criminal trial illustrates the hard work of the members of the Thunder Bay Police Service and our partners in Law Enforcement. This conviction would not have been possible without the efforts of our dedicated officers.
Project Dolphin History:
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.
Since February of 2010, a number of warrants were executed during the course of the investigation. A milestone in Project Dolphin occurred on June 16, 2011 when officers along with our partner agencies executed 15 search warrants in the City of Thunder Bay.
The results of that initial phase of the project lead to the arrest of John Harry TSEKOURAS for his role in the trafficking of illegal drugs. His conviction on March 5, 2015 was in connection with charges laid on April 11, 2012. A further outcome of Project Dolphin is that Tsekouras and five other individuals are still before the courts to deal with charges laid after April 2012.
Project Dolphin Accomplishments:
•Over 40 arrests were made in connection with Project Dolphin which has resulted in drug related charges involving cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy pills and opiate based prescription drugs.
•To date, Project Dolphin has resulted in seizures of over 2.1 million dollars in illicit drugs and nearly $500,000 in cash and property.
•The investigation revealed an elaborate drug distribution network that utilized sophisticated communication technology. That technology proved to be no match for the technical expertise of Canadian police, especially the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The focus and results of this investigation to date has identified and addressed a criminal enterprise which has been profiting from the high demand for illicit and highly addictive drugs such as Oxycodone. Thunder Bay has been a hub for the distribution of these drugs to many northern communities. The negative social impact of this criminal activity has been felt on a daily basis in all Northwestern Ontario Communities.
It is clear that the nature of addiction in our community continues to create a high demand for illicit drugs. Criminal organizations continue to prey on the suffering of those addicted to drugs.
Police will always have to be vigilant in the investigation of these criminal enterprises. In our community, this represents a multi-million dollar underground economy that adversely affects the wellbeing of our citizens. The Thunder Bay Police Service continues to work with our community partners to identify and address the underlying social issues that drive this criminal activity.
We must recognize that these efforts require a commitment of resources to continue the fight against organized crime. Thunder Bay remains a lucrative drug market. Entrepreneurial criminal organizations will always try to take advantage of the demand.
Law enforcement will remain vigilant to this threat.
Police cannot combat this threat alone. It takes a community effort to address the causes of crime. Addictions remain at the forefront and require community partnerships to make long-term progress.