Canada

WARMINGTON: Halton cops score their biggest fentanyl bust

Think how many veins would have been targeted with all that poison had an alert Halton cop not been investigating a theft.

Think how much more human damage would have occurred if not for Project Mover which culminated in charges against nine people and the largest fentanyl seizure in Halton Region’s history.

Some 10.25 kilograms of fentanyl — in colours red, purple and blue — were seized along with a kilogram of cocaine, six kilograms of an unknown controlled substance still being tested, 1.25 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, $307,065 in cash, a semi-automatic 12-gauge shotgun, a .40-calibre handgun with a loaded, extended clip,a stolen 2019 Dodge Durango and a 2016 Acura RDX.

“Totalled together it adds up to $4 million,” said Det.-Sgt. Paul Foley, of the Halton Regional Police’s drugs and human trafficking unit.

Who knows how many could have died?

“Fentanyl is deadly,” said Deputy Chief Jeff Hill. “Just a little bit of it, like grains of sand, can cause an overdose.”

Yet, drug users line up for this synthetic opioid often imported from China or Mexico.

The problems with fentanyl are not new, but Halton police introduced something that is. It has been widely understood most people who overdose on fentanyl did not realize it was cut into their cocaine or heroin.

While there are still people duped by greedy dealers, many now know what they are buying. “Fentanyl now has its own customers,” said Foley.

The veteran cop said for Halton police, fentanyl is “public enemy number one.”

Another important development is Halton’s approach to fentanyl and those addicted to it. “It is a drug crisis but it is also a health crisis,” said Hill.

Added Foley: “Many are not getting a high from it but need it to get out of bed and to live day to day.”

This is why this “organized group” was “making a large profit.”

Not anymore thanks to a uniformed cop, who was dispatched to look into a stolen package.

“She did a good job,” said Foley. “She sensed something and made extra effort to investigate further.”

She shined light on a drug ring.

“Her instincts led her to identify two people from out of town,” said Foley. “She quietly alerted the drug squad.”

Foley said after some surveillance, “it didn’t take long” to see “they were (allegedly) moving a lot of drugs.”

After months of investigation, Halton police have charged Jordan Treleaven, 28, and Douglas Johnson, 46, — both of Oakville; Jorge Zamora, 28, of British Columbia; Joseph Piansay, 26, of Brampton; Domenic Mamone, 47, of Hamilton; and Jani Suutarinen, 44, of Alberta, with drug trafficking.

Ian Singh, 31, of Markham, and Craig Grant, 21, of Mississauga face drug trafficking and firearms charges. Karen Tran, 28, of Toronto, is charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000.

The allegations against those charged have not been tested in court.

However, Halton police officers did a great job of disrupting this alleged network and kept all that junk out of addicts’ bloodstreams.

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