OTTAWA – Thunder Bay – News – In a significant crackdown on drug and firearms trafficking, Ontario Provincial Police’s Project Alloy has led to the arrest of six individuals from Ottawa, Carleton Place, and Gatineau, charged with a total of 42 offences.
“Drug trafficking and the resulting violence is claiming lives at unprecedented levels, and this is especially true in our remote and northern communities. The six accused who were arrested as a part of Project ALLOY targeted vulnerable populations through criminal drug trafficking activities, and put everyone at risk through the firearms they possessed – which in some cases were loaded. Through the results of this investigation, I am proud of the OPP and policing partners for upholding the law and protecting our communities,” states OPP Detective Inspector Lee Fulford, PGNG.
Street gangs are migrating to communities across Ontario, and this has resulted in an increase in the number of illegal firearms entering our communities. The OPP-led PGNG is dedicated to disrupting criminal street gang activity through intelligence-led, multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking investigations and reducing the number of illegal firearms in the province of Ontario.
Details of the Operation Project Alloy and Charges
Investigation: Began in July, focusing on a criminal network in Ottawa and Thunder Bay.
Execution: 9 search warrants in Ottawa, Carleton Place, Thunder Bay, and Gatineau on Nov. 9, 2023.
Seizures: Illicit drugs (including crystal methamphetamine, cocaine), firearms, cash, and other crime-related items.
Project Alloy has culminated in the arrest of six individuals from Ottawa, Carleton Place, and Gatineau. This significant operation targeted a criminal network involved in drug and firearm trafficking in the Ottawa and Thunder Bay areas.
Arrests and Charges
Robert Cunliffe, 46, Ottawa: Possession for trafficking (methamphetamine), possession of property over $5,000, prohibited weapon charges, conspiracy.
Andrew Godard, 35, Ottawa: Multiple possession for trafficking charges, firearm offences, property crime, and conspiracy.
Anthony MacDonald, 40, Ottawa: Multiple possession for trafficking charges, firearm offences, property crime, and conspiracy.
Tia Vong, 31, Ottawa: Trafficking (methamphetamine, cocaine), firearm offences.
Albert Russell, 40, Gatineau: Trafficking (methamphetamine), weapon charges, conspiracy.
Nicholas Freda, 32, Carleton Place: Trafficking (cocaine, methamphetamine), firearm offences, conspiracy.
Criminal Code Charges and Potential Penalties
Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking (Schedule I substances like methamphetamine and cocaine):
Maximum penalty: Life imprisonment.
Possession of Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000:
Maximum penalty: 10 years imprisonment.
Possession of a Prohibited/Restricted Weapon:
Maximum penalty: 10 years for first offence, mandatory minimum of 1 year for subsequent offences.
Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm:
Maximum penalty: 5 years imprisonment.
Conspiracy to Commit an Indictable Offence:
Penalties vary depending on the nature of the planned offence.
Alter, Deface, or Remove Serial Number on Firearm:
Maximum penalty: 5 years imprisonment.
Possession of a Loaded Firearm:
Penalties can range up to 10 years imprisonment.
Scheduled: Defendants to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Ottawa on Nov. 14 and Dec. 5, 2023.
PGNG is grateful to several partners for their support throughout this investigation including the Ottawa Police Service, Sûreté du Quebec, Service de Police de la Ville de Gatineau and Thunder Bay Police Service. Several program areas within the OPP were crucial to the success of this investigation including the Provincial Surveillance Unit, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) East & North-West, Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau North-West, Community Street Crime Unit Leeds-Grenville Lanark, Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit, Emergency Response Team, Tactics and Rescue Unit and the Canine Unit.
This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with any information about the possession, manufacturing or trafficking of illicit drugs or illegal firearms is urged to call OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.