Joint Forces Investigation Hits Drug and Weapons Ring

Sep 27, 2011

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Toronto-Area Residents Face 69 Charges Following Four-Month Covert Operation

ORILLIA, ON, Sept. 27, 2011 /CNW/ - Police have charged three (3) Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents with a total of 69 offences following a four (4) month, covert investigation into a drug and weapons trafficking ring.

The investigation - known as "Project Worsley" - focused on cocaine and weapons trafficking operations that were centred in the GTA but had links to other parts of Ontario. During the course of the investigation, police seized:

  • One (1) nine-millimetre hand gun,
  • 406 grams of cocaine (street value $40,600),
  • 154 marihuana plants (street value $152,600),
  • One (1) sport utility vehicle (estimated value $5,000), and
  • Two (2) all-terrain vehicles (estimated value $18,000).

Members of the Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau's Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit, Asset Forfeiture Unit and Drug Enforcement Unit, with support from Durham Regional Police Service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Toronto Police Service and York Regional Police Service were successful in advancing this investigation.

Charged are:

  • Harry HARDGROVE, aged 32 years, of Queensville, Ontario - 37 charges including trafficking in illegal drugs and illegal weapons;
  • Rosa RIVAS, aged 33 years, of Queensville, Ontario - eight (8) charges including trafficking in illegal drugs and possession of property obtained by crime;
  • Eamonn Patrick COPELAND, aged 27 years, of Toronto, Ontario - 24 charges including trafficking in illegal drugs and illegal weapons and possession of property obtained by crime;

Those charged will be held for bail court at Old City Hall Courthouse, 60 Queen Street West in Toronto on September 27, 2011. Warrants have been issued for a number of other Toronto area residents in connection with this ongoing investigation.

QUOTES

"Illicit drugs and illegal weapons continue to be a scourge in society and an ongoing threat to public safety. I'm proud that -- together with our partners - our dedicated members have been able to reduce the threat through this investigation."
-- Chief Supt. Mike ARMSTRONG, OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau

"Organized crime reaches deeply into communities across Ontario. Project Worsley is yet another example of police working together to suppress that activity and help achieve our shared goal of safe communities."
-- Inspector Steve CLEGG, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau-Central

EDITOR'S NOTE - Four (4) photos of items seized by police during this investigation accompany this media release.

 


 

Image with caption: " ATV. (CNW Group/Ontario Provincial Police)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110927_C6891_PHOTO_EN_3874.jpg

Image with caption: "Cocaine. (CNW Group/Ontario Provincial Police)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110927_C6891_PHOTO_EN_3868.jpg

Image with caption: "Firearm and ammo. (CNW Group/Ontario Provincial Police)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110927_C6891_PHOTO_EN_3870.jpg

Image with caption: "Marihuana. (CNW Group/Ontario Provincial Police)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20110927_C6891_PHOTO_EN_3872.jpg

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For further information:

Media Contact:   Detective Staff Sgt. Scott Mills
  OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau - Central
  Drug Enforcement Unit - Community Drug Action Team
  (705) 734-1166

www.opp.ca

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