A nine-month police investigation targeting individuals affiliated to a street gang resulted in 70 arrests and the seizure of a significant number of firearms and large quantities of narcotics.
In the early hours of June 21, police executed numerous search and arrest warrants throughout the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
At a news conference at police headquarters, Chief Mark Saunders said the Integrated Gun & Gang Task Force Major Projects Section had been investigating the activities of the Five Point Generals.
“This investigation was based on intelligence that led investigators to suspect that the Five Point Generals were operating as a criminal organization and that they were involved in illegal activities that posed a direct threat to community safety,” he said. “…We allege that the Five Point Generals are a dangerous street gang that, while having roots in the area surrounding Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. W., its criminal activities extended throughout Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area and into other parts of the country, the United States and even as far away as the Caribbean.”
The investigation was dubbed “Project Patton.”
Saunders said investigators are confident that the project has effectively disrupted and dealt a significant blow to the gang’s hierarchy and operations.
“The investigation is fluid and there will be additional arrests,” he said. “…We are talking about a street gang that utilizes firearms for business processes and have no hesitation in using firearms. When we talk about gunplay in the city, street gangs play a huge and massive role in that type of activity.”
The Chief acknowledged the efforts of the the Integrated Gun & Gang Task Force and partner agencies for their dedication and professionalism in carrying out the co-ordinated multi-jurisdictional operation.
“The ability of having highly trained investigators that understand street-gang sub-culture lead to these kinds of investigations that do yield, I think, some tremendous and great results,” said Saunders.
The suspects are making court appearances today at the Toronto West courthouse, 2201 Finch Ave. W.
There will be a press conference at police headquarters on Friday, June 22, at 10.30 a.m., where specific details of the project will be provided.