Police across Saskatchewan and Alberta seized guns and drugs, including significant amounts of counterfeit oxycontin and methamphetamine, in a major police investigation into organized crime.
Three people in Saskatoon have died from counterfeit oxycontin in the past six months.
At a news conference, Saskatoon police detective inspector Jerome Engele called the sting one of the most significant in the province's history.
"We spent long, long hours working on a plan. And that plan was so successful because of the work of all of our members," he said.
"My buttons, I've lost a lot of weight but my buttons are bouncing, are going to pop right out of here. We're really proud. We're really proud of our officers and what they did, how hard they worked."
The investigation targeted two gangs, the Hells Angels and the Fallen Saints.
Police said the Fallen Saints were started up in Saskatoon over the summer and do not know if it's connected to a gang in the United States with the same name.
RCMP and Saskatoon police conducted over a dozen searches of residences and business across Saskatchewan and Alberta yesterday. In Saskatoon, nine homes and two businesses were searched.
Drugs seized included methamphetamine, cocaine, counterfeit oxycontin and heroin. Police said it is uncommon for heroin to be found in Saskatoon.
The drug bust is linked to pill making equipment that was seized in Burnaby, B.C. for ecstasy and counterfeit oxycontin.
Police also seized about 200 firearms, including prohibited and restricted firearms.
Police said more charges and arrests are expected.
Nine residences and two commercial properties were searched in Saskatoon. Other searches of residences in Saskatchewan included one in Star City and two in Warman. One business in Melfort and one in Nipawin were searched. Searches in Alberta include two residences in Red Deer and one vehicle in Calgary.
The investigation began in November 2013.
Police say 14 people are facing multiple charges after Wednesday's raids at the Saskatoon clubhouse of the Hells Angels, as well as several private homes.
The charges include drug trafficking, weapons, assault and proceeds of crime, police said in a news release.
Five people accused in yesterday's raid have appeared in court. They will stay in custody until their next appearance.
Police said the investigation resulted in the seizure of the following items:
- 5.4 kilograms of methamphetamine.
- 2.6 kilograms of cocaine.
- 3,358 fentanyl pills (counterfeit oxycontin).
- 107 grams of heroin.
- 145 pounds of marijuana.
- 456 dilaudid pills.
- 454 grams of hash.
- Approximately $100,000.
- Seven vehicles.
- Approximately 200 firearms, including prohibited and restricted firearms.
- Tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition.
- Four ballistic vests.
- One conducted energy weapon.
These Saskatoon addresses were searched by police during the investigation yesterday:
- 900 block Glacier Shores
- 100 block Rajput Way
- 2500 block 37th Street West
- 100 block Silverwood Road
- 1100 block Avenue Q South
- 1900 block 11th Street West
- 100 block 110th Street East
- 300 block Cockburn Crescent
- 100 block Brown Crescent
- 400 block Dickey Crescent
CBC's Kathy Fitzpatrick is tweeting live from the police press conference. Follow her tweets below.
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