With assistance from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and York Regional Police, Toronto Police conducted an eight-month gang investigation that culminated in dozens of search warrants on June 27.
The investigation targeted a street gang – Chester Le Gang – that it is alleged to be operating as a highly coordinated criminal organization and involved in illegal activities that posed a direct threat to community safety.
A total of 80 arrests and 23 firearms have been seized along with a significant quantity of illegal narcotics throughout the province during the court of the investigation so far. Of those, 37 arrests and 10 firearms were seized during the search warrants on June 27.
The investigation is ongoing.
At a news conference at police headquarters on June 27, Chief Mark Saunders said the Major Projects Section of the Integrated Gun & Gang Task Force led the investigation of the gang over an eight-month period.
“As the investigation progressed, it became apparent that this group had been involved in numerous violent offences involving firearms and that they were active in the sale and distribution of illicit narcotics, more specifically, a fentanyl trafficking network,” he said.
Describing the gang as dangerous, Saunders said that while they have roots in the area surrounding Victoria Park and Finch Ave. E., its activities extended through Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area and into other parts of the country.
“Our investigators are confident that this investigation has effectively disrupted and dealt a significant blow to the hierarchy and operations of the Chester Le Gang,” said the Chief.
Saunders praised the teamwork of law enforcement officials for the smooth operation.
“I would like to acknowledge the efforts of our Guns & Gangs Task Force as well as our partner agencies for their commitment and skill in carrying out this co-ordinated and dangerous multi-jurisdictional effort,” he said.
The persons arrested made court appearances hours after their arrest at Toronto West Courthouse, 2201 Finch Ave. W.
Specific information about the charges will be provided on June 28 at a news conference at police headquarters, starting at 10 a.m.