Single Seizure Averts Untold Violence

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 5:11 p.m. December 16, 2020

The largest single-day drug and firearm bust by Toronto Police yielded more than $18 million in drugs and 65 firearms.

A handgun being held in a hand
Among the firearms seized, this Glock 17 9mm handgun can fire 50 rounds in the matter of seconds using a prohibited fully automatic selector and overcapacity magazine

The investigation was led by the 22 Division Major Crime Unit (MCU) with support from the Division’s Bail Compliance Unit and Organized Crime Enforcement (OCE) specialized units.

On November 17, 22 Division officers executed a search warrant at a residence in the Park Lawn Rd. and Berry Rd. area

It’s alleged they discovered a large quantity of drugs and firearms.

A total of 57 handguns, eight long guns, nearly 15,000 rounds of ammunition along with high-capacity and extended magazines were recovered.

Among the firearms:

  • Three Glock 9 mm handguns with fully automatic selector switch and 50-round overcapacity magazines
  • Desert Eagle .50 calibre handgun
  • BB gun converted to .22 calibre handgun
  • Polymer 80 kit gun fully assembled

The weapons are being traced to establish where they came from and if they have been used in any crimes across the Greater Toronto Area. 

In addition, 181 kilograms of drugs with an estimated street value of $18,240,000 were seized. The drugs included 106 kilos of cocaine, 61 kilos of crystal meth, five kilos of fentanyl and nine kilos of MDMA.

Insp. Tim Crone said the investigation was launched earlier this year after 22 Division MCU officers became aware of information pertaining to drug trafficking in the division.

“As this investigation progressed, the residential address of 70 Clover Hill St. #5 was identified as a potential location of drug dealing activity,” he said. “This is typically a very quiet and peaceful residential neighhbourhood that’s primarily made up of detached homes, low-rise apartment buildings, parks, playgrounds and elementary schools.

When officers entered the residence, they located one occupant who was the registered tenant of the unit.

“He had been identified as a person of interest to this investigation,” said Crone. “Once inside the apartment, officers immediately located significant amounts of narcotics and firearms which were in plain sight of the officers.”

Daniel Dubajic, 45, of Toronto faces four counts of possession of a Schedule 1 substance for trafficking, 53 counts of possession of an unloaded registered firearm, six counts of possession of a loaded regulated firearm, six counts of possession of a firearm other than restricted or prohibited knowingly not holding a license, two counts of knowingly possessing a firearm, device or ammunition for transfer and seven counts of possession of a prohibited/restricted weapon or prohibited device.

News conference on seizure of 65 firearms and $18 million in drugs

Det. Ray Direnzo, of the 22 Division Major Crime Unit, said the investigation was routine for his team that deals with everything from break and enters to drug and gun investigations.

“You never know what’s on the other side of the door in a search warrant – you know why you’re there but not always what you’re going to find,” said the 31-year veteran. “In this case, it was the motherlode.”

Direnzo credited the work of his team with pulling on the investigative string that led to the unprecedented seizure and Organized Crime Enforcement for being able to handle the breadth of the follow-up investigation.

Of the 57 handguns recovered, 39 have been traced, 37 of them to the United States and the remaining two to Canada.

A total of five of the long guns have been traced to Canadian sources.

“The guns and drugs recovered is a phenomenal seizure, absolutely contributing to greater pubic safety.  I would suggest not only in the GTA but much further abroad,” said OCE Supt. Steve Watts. “These type of quantities, specifically of fentanyl and crystal meth, would have been consumed in areas far beyond Toronto.”

The 22 Division initiative, said Supt. Domenic Sinopoli, will have a profound impact on public safety in the city.

“Typically, a seizure of this scale is the outcome of a multi-jurisdictional project,” he noted. “But this result and the disruption of a criminal operation is because of good work of one Division within the Toronto Police Service.”

Sinopoli said the accused has no previous history of drugs and firearms.

“These guns weren’t destined for lawful gun owners who were practicing at their local gun cubs,” he said. “We allege that these guns were destined for street gang use and, as such, presented a significant threat to public safety for all of our communities. We also had a tragic death of an innocent young boy who was killed while walking in his neighbourhood.”

A table of handguns
A total of 65 handguns were seized from one Etobicoke apartment

Sinopoli issued a caution to individuals utilizing illicit drugs.

“These are lethal and can kill you,” he said.

As of November 30, Toronto has seen in excess of 3,200 overdoses, resulting in 234 deaths this year.

“It doesn’t matter how well versed you are or how well you think you know your drug dealer,” said Sinopoli. “You have to assume that the next time that you take that hit, it may be your last.”

Dubajic’s next court appearance is on January 7 at Old City Hall.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 416-808-2200, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or online at  www.222tips.com.

Three shotguns in front of packaged drugs
Crystal meth, fentanyl, cocaine and MDMA were among the drugs seized with the firearms
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