An investigation that started in a few eastern Ontario communities grew into a nine-person, multi-million dollar drug bust across two provinces, police announced Thursday.
Ontario Provincial Police said cocaine was being sent from Montreal to Mont Tremblant, Que., where it was processed and shipped off to communities such as Ottawa, Carleton Place, Perth and Smiths Falls.
Police said the process was unique because it resembled the “just in time” shipping model similar to ones used by big-box retailers.
They said they uncovered evidence of loan sharking, extortion and intimidation, along with $1.2 million in mortgage fraud and $10 million in high-level money laundering.
“Criminal organizations have no borders and respect no jurisdictions,” said Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong, commander of the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.
“Project Adelaide is another great example of a multi-jurisdictional partnership that demonstrates dedication and teamwork required to keep our communities safe.”
‘Project Adelaide’ started in November
OPP said they started to gather intelligence on an organization moving cocaine in eastern Ontario in November 2012, an operation they named Project Adelaide.
They said the investigation eventually moved over to Quebec, which meant the Sûreté du Québec were brought in.
A series of 25 search warrants, 18 in Ontario and seven in Quebec, were executed on Wednesday, resulting in nine arrests.
Three of the people arrested had outstanding arrest warrants.
Police said they seized $409,000 cash, 2.5 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of hashish and seven motor vehicles.
They said they’ll also be seizing a helicopter.