145 criminal charges laid in joint Hamilton Police-RCMP drug and firearms bust

By

Published February 3, 2022 at 2:52 pm

The Hamilton Police Service took part in a two-year-long drug trafficking and firearms investigation, resulting in the arrest of 17 individuals and 145 criminal charges being laid. (HPS photo)

The Hamilton Police Service helped lead a two-year-long drug trafficking and firearms investigation, resulting in the arrest of 17 individuals and 145 criminal charges being laid.

The HPS announced Thursday (Feb. 3) that it joined forces with the RCMP and other services in the Golden Horseshoe for Project Skyfall.

Advertising
Advertising

Approximately 150 warrants led to the seizure of 29 kilograms of cocaine, three kilograms of methamphetamine, 400 grams of fentanyl, and 440 pounds of illegal cannabis — representing a combined street value of over $5.5 million.

145 criminal charges laid in joint Hamilton Police-RCMP drug and firearms bust

“We know drugs have a significant impact on Hamilton’s streets and are associated with an increase in violence and the rise in opioid deaths,” said says HPS Inspector Mark Stiller. “Project Skyfall targeted a highly sophisticated drug trafficking syndicate involving organized crime groups in Hamilton. By working collaboratively with our neighbouring law enforcement partners, we were able to take a significant amount of drugs and firearms off our streets.”

Investigators also seized more than a dozen firearms and $765,602 in Canadian currency.

“Organized crime groups exploit profit opportunities wherever they arise,” said Halton Regional Police Service Inspector Dave Costantini. “They do not care what city or town their criminal activities take them to. Those involved in these groups are only concerned about making money. They do not care about the safety, security or well-being of any member of any community.”

“Project Skyfall demonstrates the success that can be achieved when police services collaborate to tenaciously disrupt and dismantle these criminal organizations,” Constantini added.

The following individuals face charges:

Joseph Iavarone, 29, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking (2 counts)
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000 (2 counts)
  • Possession of a prohibited weapon 
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence

Daniel Reeve, 31, from Beamsville:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence

Caroline Cote, 25, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000
  • Conspiracy to commit an indictable offence

Sarorn Chan, 34, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (psilocybin) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000

Kim Tang, 29, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (psilocybin) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000

Hai Nguyen, 24, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a prohibited device (5 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (codeine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (alprazolam) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of selling
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000

Robert Vrbanic, 34, from Grimsby:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking (2 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (psilocybin) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value not exceeding $5,000

Sarah Josipovic, 28, from Grimsby:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (psilocybin) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value not exceeding $5,000

Kyle Gallant, 31, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of selling

Paul Brooks, 55, from Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Careless storage of a firearm
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Knowledge of unauthorized possession of firearm/prohibited device
  • Possession of a loaded restricted firearm
  • Possession of a weapon contrary to order

Pavle Vlahic, 31, from Burlington:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine) (3 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking (3 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (psilocybin) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (fentanyl)
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution

Vladimir Apostolski, 40, from Hamilton:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking (2 counts)
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000 (2 counts)
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution (2 counts)
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of selling (2 counts)

Danica Apostolski, 40, Hamilton:

  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking
  • Possession of property obtained by crime of a value exceeding $5,000
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of distribution
  • Possession of illegal cannabis for the purpose of selling

Hardeep Sihra, 42, Hamilton:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine) (3 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking (3 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone) for the purpose of trafficking

Lakvinder Sihra, 51, Hamilton:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine) (3 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) for the purpose of trafficking (3 counts)
  • Possession of a controlled substance (oxycodone) for the purpose of trafficking

Zoran Klisuric, 57, Hamilton:

  • Trafficking in a controlled substance (cocaine)

Jamal Chemin (aka Jamal Shehai), 40, from North York:

  • Careless storage of a firearm
  • Knowledge of unauthorized possession of firearm/prohibited device (17 counts)
  • Possession of a firearm with altered serial number (10 counts)
  • Possession of a firearm contrary to order (3 counts)
  • Possession of a prohibited device (6 counts)
  • Possession of a loaded prohibited firearm (2 counts)
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm (11 counts)

 “The RCMP recognizes the importance of partnerships to address serious and organized crime in our community,” said Superintendent Jeff Cooper, Officer in Charge of District Command. “This investigation, conducted jointly with the Hamilton Police Service and the Halton Regional Police Service, serves as a great example of how a coordinated enforcement effort can contribute to safer communities and disrupt illegal activity, keeping illicit drugs and weapons off the streets.”

Project Skyfall was supported through funding provided by the provincial government.

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising