Halton Regional Police Chief Stephen Tanner said his officers began looking into a network of alleged local drug traffickers moving "large amounts of cocaine and marijuana" in April. They soon found the suspects had ties to cities across the Greater Toronto Area.
"Investigators identified the parties involved along with their respective roles in the operation, their place of residence, the drug storage locations and some of the main suppliers," Tanner said during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Search warrants were executed yesterday in Halton, Hamilton and Toronto.
During these raids, police seized 47 kilograms of marijuana, one kilogram of cannabis resin and 2.5 kilograms of cocaine. Tanner said they also seized two handguns, ammunition, four vehicles and $155,000 in cash.
The 15 accusedrange in age from 24 to 33 and hail from Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, Milton and Toronto.
Det. Paul Foley told reporters that some of the charges include possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of the proceeds of crime.
Foley said it is alleged that the group used various techniques to do business and to evade detection — including the use of radio-frequency detectors, encrypted messages and so-called "stash houses."
Police estimate that the group was selling a kilogram of cocaine and 27 kilograms of marijuana on a biweekly basis.
"It was all being sold here, within the GTA — mostly within the Halton Region and the surrounding region," Foley said.