Two Mississauga Men Arrested in Connection With Enormous Drug and Gun Distribution Rings
Two Mississauga men are facing several drug-related charges in connection with a massive Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) investigation that led to the arrest of 18 people from Ontario and Quebec.
Project Silkstone, the multi-jurisdictional investigation, began as a high-level Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) investigation targeting multiple criminal groups involved in trafficking illegal drugs and guns along the Highway 401 corridor between the GTA, through the Belleville/Bay of Quinte Region and Montreal, Quebec.
According to the OPP, the investigation also revealed drug trafficking activities to and from the United States. Over the course of the investigation, the project team seized 11,500 pills containing fentanyl, eight kg of cocaine, 7.5 kg of MDMA, 260 grams of methamphetamine, 7,200 marijuana plants from an indoor grow operation, 180 pounds of processed marijuana bud, cases of vapes containing THC (known as JuJu Joints), drug paraphernalia and equipment.
Investigators also seized 23 firearms (including three pistols and 20 long guns), $69,000 Canadian dollars, $500 U.S. dollars and $50,000 worth of casino chips, equipment and supplies from an illegal identity card-making operation, radio frequency detecting devices and "colours" from an outlaw motorcycle gang.
The two Mississauga men arrested in connection with the investigation are 48-year-old Yu Ying Chen and 59-year-old Khai Hoang. Chen has been charged with trafficking in cocaine and MDMA and four counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. Hoang has been charged with three counts of trafficking in cocaine, five counts of trafficking in MDMA, laundering proceeds of crime and more.
Project Silkstone was carried out by a number of law enforcement partners, including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), Surete du Quebec, Service de Police de la Ville de Montreal (SPVM), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The OPP added that the investigation was also supported by The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Members of the OPP Emergency Response Team, OPP OCEB, Peel Regional Police Tactical and Rescue Unit, and the Toronto Police Service Emergency Task Force (ETF) assisted with executing the search warrants.
"By dismantling a criminal operation of this magnitude, we've literally prevented more than 11-thousand 'doses of death' of fentanyl and illegal guns from killing people in our communities," said Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum, Provincial Commander OPP Investigations and Organized Crime, in a statement. "Project Silkstone again demonstrates how effective law enforcement is at working together to target criminality. Police leaders continue to send a very clear message to criminals that - regardless of jurisdiction - police will continue to identify and aggressively pursue those individuals who threaten public safety."
OPP have charged 18 people with a total of 81 offences, including charges relating to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Criminal Code of Canada.
The accused persons were held in custody upon arrest and are expected to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville at various times and dates.
The investigation is ongoing.
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