Pubdate: Fri, 27 Aug 2004
Source: Cambridge Times (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Fairway Newspaper Group
Author: Carol-Ann Nugent


Nineteen people from Waterloo Region - including some Cambridge residents -
were arrested yesterday as part of a year-long police investigation into a
drug trafficking ring in southwestern Ontario.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Larkin of the Waterloo Regional Police said search warrants
executed at locations across the region resulted in the seizure of $60,000
cash and 10 kilograms of cocaine worth $1.2 million.

"This is such a large scale investigation," Larkin said. "Today was a
substantial day in our investigation."

Arrests of other suspects took place in Stratford, Guelph, Hamilton and
Toronto. The investigation involved police services from each of those
cities, Waterloo Regional Police and the Kitchener detachment of the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police.

Those arrested face charges relating to drug trafficking, conspiracy, money
laundering, kidnapping, extortion, assault and proceeds of crime. During the
course of the investigation, approximately $365,000 in illicit drugs and
narcotics was seized, including cocaine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy and
cannabis resin. Drug paraphernalia, cash and weapons were also seized.

The arrests relate to activities that took place between Sept. 31, 2003 and
yesterday. Further information about the investigation was to be released
after the suspects appeared in court, either late yesterday or this morning.

In a news release, Sgt. Paul Williams of the RCMP drug section said the
joint forces police team was established in the spring of 2003 when
information was received about different criminal organizations involved in
the manufacturing and distribution of methamphetamine (speed) in
southwestern Ontario.

"This team worked very hard to develop the information and intelligence they
received, and to gather evidence to support the charges laid today," William
said. "Any occasion where we can remove a threat to our communities is a
success for law enforcement.

"Of particular interest to us as we worked through this investigation were
the constant threats and intimidation that were identified through different
investigational techniques that were employed. Life within the drug
sub-culture can be very violent, particularly when money is owed and debts
are being collected." 
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