Police in Ontario just announced yet another massive bust of an organized crime ring on Tuesday that involved shocking amounts of drugs that have been driving the opioid crisis in Canada and abroad.
Peel Regional Police uncovered more than a whopping $12.4 million of illicit substances in what they are deeming Project Warrior, a joint effort between the force and the Toronto Police Service, York Regional Police and the Canada Border Services Agency, among others.
Among the nearly 100 kg of product found through search warrants of various locations around the GTA were 7 kg of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100-times stronger than morphine, which has caused thousands of opioid overdoses in Canada, and hundreds of thousands of drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021.
In Ontario – last year – 2,579 people died of opiate related overdose – primarily from illicit fentanyl. Close to 6,000 people in the first two years of the pandemic died of opiate overdose primarily by illicit fentanyl. In 5 years we went from 2 ppl dying a day to 8 💔
— Zoë Dodd (@ZoeDodd) August 26, 2022
Two milligrams is usually the standard that’s considered to be a lethal dose of fentanyl, putting the vast amount of the drug seized — and the amounts of the other substances uncovereed — into perspective.
Also found was a shocking 40 kg of a new, comparable synthetic opioid called Benzimidazole Isotonitazene, as well as 16.6 kg of MDMA, 12.9 kg of methamphetamine, 10.7 kg of Xanax, 3.7 kg of cocaine and 120 g of psilocybin — enough to kill tens of millions if administered incorrectly or unknowingly, and ruin the lives of countless more if it ever made it to the streets.
Three men from Toronto and one from Kleinburg ranging in age from 30 to 38 are now facing multiple charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking and others for their role in “storing, transporting, and supplying illegal drugs.”
Peel Regional Police will provide details about “Project Warrior,” an investigation by the Specialized Enforcement Bureau that led to the seizure of illicit drugs and numerous drug trafficking charges. https://t.co/t9zhGxcDpb
— Peel Regional Police (@PeelPolice) August 30, 2022
“The drugs seized through Project Warrior posed a severe risk to the public, especially synthetic opiates, which require higher doses of naloxone to prevent a fatal overdose,” officers said during a press conference announcing the bust today.
They then broke down the facts: That there were 191 fatal overdoses in Peel alone in 2021 (up from 186 in 2020), 88 per cent of which were caused by opioids (up 11 per cent from 2020) and 78 per cent of which were due to fentanyl (up 14 per cent from 2020). And, all of these numbers are up from pre-COVID.
“The data consistently shows that in Peel and across the province, we are facing an opioid crisis. Through projects like Project Warrior, we aren’t just stopping criminality and addressing it, but we are helping to keep our communities safe.”
Anyone with information that could further aid the investigation is being asked to contact the Specialized Enforcement Bureau or Peel Crime Stoppers.