Illegal Firearms Seized and Multiple Charges Laid in Thunder Bay

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Image OPP
Image OPP

Thunder Bay, ON – A coordinated effort by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Provincial Joint Forces Guns and Gangs Enforcement Team (PGNG) has led to the arrest of eight individuals and the laying of 72 charges related to firearms and drug offences in Thunder Bay. This operation, conducted on May 30, 2024, involved executing three search warrants in the city’s south end.

“This investigation is a clear demonstration of law enforcement disrupting criminals and illegal firearms from migrating into our northern communities. It is imperative that police services across Ontario continue to collaborate, and this investigation shows the importance of this collaboration regardless of the geographical distance. The PGNG is grateful for the support from TBPS, NAPS and the OPP Thunder Bay Detachment throughout this investigation,” states OPP Detective Inspector Lee Fulford, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.

Investigation and Arrests
The investigation, which began in January 2024, targeted a multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking network. The PGNG team, including members from the OPP, Thunder Bay Police Service (TBPS), and Nishnawbe Aski Police Service (NAPS), carried out the searches with the TBPS Emergency Tactical Unit’s support.

Seized Items
During the searches, police seized:

  • Two 9mm handguns
  • One extended magazine with 23 rounds of ammunition
  • One 31-round high-capacity magazine with 11 rounds of ammunition
  • Approximately $25,000 in cash
  • Seven acetaminophen and oxycodone tablets
  • Approximately 300 grams of suspected crack cocaine
  • Approximately four grams of suspected fentanyl
  • Four digital scales
  • Ten cell phones

Charges and Court Appearances
The accused face charges under the Criminal Code (CC) and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA). Six individuals remain in custody, while two have been released and will appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Thunder Bay on various dates. For a detailed list of charges, refer to the Addendum of Charged Persons. The investigation is ongoing.

Public Assistance Requested
Anyone with information on illegal drug or firearm activities is urged to contact the OPP’s non-emergency number at 1-888-310-1122 or 9-1-1 in emergencies. Anonymous tips can be provided to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

PGNG Mandate
The PGNG aims to disrupt street gang activities and reduce illegal firearms in Ontario through intelligence-led investigations. The team comprises members from 20 police services across Ontario and Quebec and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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