Millions in Cocaine, Fentanyl Seized

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 11:51 a.m. July 10, 2019

Toronto Police, with assistance from their Windsor counterparts, have cracked a major drug trafficking network operating in the Greater Toronto Area and Windsor.

A man at a podium beside a table
Drug Squad Inspector Don Belanger speaks to media beside hundreds of thousands in cash and handguns seized as part of Project Oz

A quantity of drugs, firearms and cash were seized in the investigation dubbed Project Oz that has led to the arrests of six individuals. Two other suspects are outstanding.

On June 27, members of the Major Projects Section with assistance from the Service’s Clan Lab team, street-level enforcement teams and the Windsor Police Service executed 14 search warrants on addresses and vehicles in Toronto, Brampton and Windsor.

A total of six loaded firearms, three over-capacity handgun magazines, 238 rounds of ammunition, 24 kilograms of powder cocaine, 2.6 kg. of fentanyl and half a kilo of crystal meth were seized.

Quantities of various controlled substances, including 100 fentanyl patches, 11 grams of crack cocaine, 984 hydro morphine tablets, 265 oxycodone tables, 14 morphine tablets, 375 ml. liquid morphine hydrochloride and 757 codeine tables were also seized.

At a news conference at police headquarters on July 10, Drug Squad Insp. Don Belanger said the Service’s drug experts estimate that the quantity of drugs seized had the potential to yield as much as $5.4 million if sold at the street level.

He said the seizure is quite significant, especially since the fentanyl can be sold at the street level by the point (0.1 gram).

“This means that when you start thinking about how much 2.6 kilos is, that is very significant,” said Belanger.

Police also allege that the $550,000 in Canadian currency seized are proceeds of the drug enterprise. Of that amount, $411,000 was located in a hidden compartment in one of the six vehicles seized. This vehicle also contained three of the seized handguns and two kilograms of cocaine.

It is alleged that the vehicle was used by Jaidyn Downes, 34, of Cobourg. He is wanted by police. The other outstanding suspect is 30-year-old Sebastiano Profetto, of Windsor. They are wanted on drug and firearm-related charges. 

The six people arrested so far are Brian Medeiros, Mokoumba Mulumba, Steven Whalen, Minja Ljumovic, Danielle Hess and Christopher Janisse. They face a total of 50 charges.

Substances wrapped in plastic in front of photos of a car and trunk and compartments within them
Photos showing secreted compartments in vehicles used to hide drugs seized by police

Hess was released on bail while police are alleging that the vehicle seized from Janisse contained close to $97,000 that was hidden in a compartment.

“This investigation, yet again, demonstrates the link between guns, drugs and organized crime,” said Belanger. “The fact that we have seized more than half-a-million dollars in cash reinforces just how lucrative the illicit drug trade is and how prolific this drug enterprise was. 

“Clearly, the individuals we have placed before the Court are not kids nor are they addicts looking to feed their own addictions.  It is our allegation that they are organized criminals who choose to profit from the misfortune and addiction of others. The devastation that a narcotics operation of this magnitude has inflicted on individuals, on their families and friends and on society as a whole is immeasurable. The social cost, including the number of deaths caused by fentanyl overdoses, is unconsciable.”

Belanger heaped praise on the Drug Squad Major Projects Section and other sub-units that assisted for their exceptional work on Project Oz and their significant contribution to community safety.

Project Oz Drug Arrests News Conference

“Drug squad officers work extremely long hours to achieve results like these,” he said. “It goes without saying that the work they do is dangerous. The vast majority of their work happens away from the public eye and generally goes unreported. I can assure the public that this represents just one of many ongoing proactive investigations.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Toronto Police Service at 416-808-6100, the Windsor Police Service Drugs and Guns Enforcement Unit at 519-255-6700, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at  222tips.com or text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637). Download the free Crime Stoppers Mobile App on iTunes, Google Play or Blackberry App World.

A table with handguns
Three handguns seized as part of Project Oz
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