Thunder Bay, ON – The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have announced another arrest in the ongoing effort to combat the influx of drug dealers from Southern Ontario. The arrest took place on Friday, June 16, 2023, marking another milestone in the fight against this epidemic.
Suspect Arrested with Significant Quantity of Fentanyl and Cocaine
The arrested individual Joshua Atewe is a black male from Brampton. He was found to be in possession of a quantity of both fentanyl and cocaine.
The suspect, initially attempting to mislead OPP officers by providing them with a false name, was soon correctly identified. His identity revealed a breach of a probation order dated May 31, 2022.
The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Joshua Atewe (born March 27, 1997) of Brampton, has been arrested several times in Thunder Bay and is under court orders to only be in Thunder Bay for Court appearances.
Atewe now faces the following charges:
- Possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking,
- Possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, and
- Breach of his May 31, 2022, probation order.
In Ontario, possession of a substantial amount of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking can lead to a jail sentence ranging from 5 to 5.5 years, even for someone with a guilty plea and no record. Similarly, offenders found trafficking a Schedule I controlled substance like fentanyl can face an indictable offence with a maximum penalty of life in jail.
Previous Arrests in Thunder Bay
On December 2, 2021, Police learned individuals had been observed inside an apartment unit that was supposed to be vacant. When police entered the home, they observed what appeared to be individuals attempting to destroy evidence possibly related to drug trafficking.
A male suspect attempted to flee from police, but was arrested on Lake Street after a brief foot pursuit. That suspect was Joshua ATEWE.
On December 2, 2021, Joshua ATEWE, 24, of Mississauga, was charged with:
• Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking
• Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000
• Being Unlawfully in a Dwelling
• Obstruct Peace Officer
• Failure to Comply with Release Order
Atewe has a history of offences and an equal history or breaching court ordered release conditions.
Breach of a Probation Order: What it Means
A breach of a probation order is a serious offence in itself, with potential penalties including up to two years in jail3. It indicates that the individual has not complied with the conditions set by the court, potentially involving issues such as residence, employment, or association with certain individuals. A breach can significantly impact the individual’s legal situation, potentially leading to more severe penalties if convicted.
Atewe has been transported to the Thunder Bay Jail, with a court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, June 21, 2023. The court will take into account the repeated arrests and the breach of probation order when considering sentencing.
We will continue to report on this case as it develops. Stay tuned for more updates on the ongoing battle against drug trafficking in Thunder Bay.