Last week, CKDM reported that the RCMP made a substantial drug bust in an extensive investigation in two provinces, and today RCMP confirmed that for the past 16 months, RCMP has been investigating a drug trafficking network through Project Declass, resulting in the largest drug bust in Manitoba history.
It all started in August 2018 when two people were arrested while attempting to import 40 kilograms of cocaine into Manitoba.
Project Declass uncovered an integrated network of individuals belonging to different organized crime groups that were working together in an opportunistic fashion to import and distribute illicit drugs in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba.
At 6:00 am, on December 4, 2019, nine coordinated search warrants were executed in Winnipeg, St. Laurent, and Calgary. Nine people were also arrested on Wednesday. More on that can be found in the article posted last week.
On December 5th, two more people, 34-year-old Jess Thomas and 33-year-old John Everse Medina, were arrested to bring the total number of individuals arrested up to 11.
Those 11 people have had 66 total charges laid against them to date.
Those charges include trafficking meth and cocaine, conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, possession of proceeds of crime, and money laundering.
The total amount of drugs seized throughout the investigation is 22 kilograms of methamphetamine, which translates to about 220,000 hits, and 43 kilograms of cocaine.
The street value of these drugs is estimated to be $6.5 million dollars. This investigation has resulted in the largest amount of meth seized in an organized crime investigation in Manitoba history.
In addition, 5 vehicles were seized, including a 2018 Harley Davidson motorcycle and financial seizures to date totalling over $100,000.
This investigation is still ongoing and restraining orders have been placed on additional bank accounts.
The RCMP says Project Declass is an excellent example of how they work with international and domestic partners to identify, target and arrest those who are importing cocaine, meth, fentanyl and other illicit drugs into our country.
The Manitoba RCMP would also like to thank the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Canada Border Service Agency, the Calgary Police Service, Regina Police Service, the MB Liquor & Lotteries Corporation, Seized Property Management Directorate, Health Canada, Fintrac, as well as RCMP investigators in British-Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Ontario. These partnerships were crucial to the success of the investigation.