DEC 14 2011 TORONTO - It took 900 officers to seize 2.75 kilograms of cocaine and 27 guns in a Canada-wide raid.
Almost 400 charges were laid on Wednesday against the 60 people arrested in four provinces on Tuesday morning, the result of an eight-month long investigation into Toronto street gangs.
The raids also netted $110,000 and small quantities of marijuana and the drug ecstasy. Officers also seized 27 guns over the course of the investigation.
Dubbed Project Marvel, the probe culminated with 900 officers, including 400 heavily armed members of tactical units, executing 67 search warrants, mostly in the Greater Toronto Area, but as far afield as Surrey, B.C.
A similar crackdown in 2009 netted 40 firearms, $431,000 and 43 pounds of cocaine. And two operations in Southern Ontario in 2008 confiscated 35 handguns and drugs with a combined street value of $160-million.
Acting Deputy Chief Jeff McGuire with the Toronto police said the latest investigation, which involved the RCMP and Ontario Provincial Police, demonstrated the importance of police agencies sharing intelligence and working together to combat crime across the country.
The operation has been criticized as insignificant because, despite its size, it netted just 60 people connected to Toronto gangs, when members of gangs have been estimated to number about 30,000.
The accused include 10 youths, two of whom face charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
Investigators are tracing the source of the weapons, and are working with U.S. authorities to determine whether they were smuggled across the border.
(Globe and Mail)