03/10/2016 08:48 EST | Updated 03/11/2017 00:12 EST

More than two dozen people arrested in Quebec drug sweep

MONTREAL — Police in several Quebec communities have arrested and charged 26 people following a series of drug raids in the province.

The first group of 13 suspects was arrested in raids conducted Wednesday by some 50 police officers in and around the Montreal area and in Drummondville.

The suspects, who range in age from 22 to 44, were charged with producing, possessing and trafficking drugs in addition to conspiracy. Police seized drugs, cash, restricted weapons, bulletproof vests, manufacturing equipment and vehicles during the raids.

The investigation began in June 2014 into the distribution of methamphetamine pills in the Montreal area.

The second raid saw 13 suspects aged 18 to 51 arrested in nine searches conducted by police in the Portneuf region west of Quebec City.  Some were scheduled to appear at the Quebec City courthouse today to face drug trafficking and possession charges.

The Portneuf investigation began in November 2015 to stop sales of cocaine and methamphetamine in the region.

The Canadian Press