Pubdate: Thu, 28 Dec 2006
Source: Hamilton Spectator (CN ON)
Copyright: 2006 The Hamilton Spectator
Author: Dana Brown


Hamilton police have seized more than $2.7 million in illegal drugs 
and a small arsenal of firearms as part of a series of undercover 

The 12-week Project Rocker was launched in September and focused on 
street-level crack cocaine use.

Staff Sergeant Dave Calvert of the vice and drugs unit said by going 
after smaller dealers and users, police were hoping to reduce some of 
the fear of crime in the community and interrupt the availability of the drug.

The majority of the police haul came from the seizure of 2,544 
marijuana plants, which had a street value of around $2.5 million.

Police laid 247 drug-related charges and an additional 151 criminal 
charges. Five handguns, two shotguns, four pellet guns and seven 
other prohibited weapons.

"You always want more, but it's still pretty significant," says 
Calvert of the weapons haul.

Project Rocker's success includes several recent high-profile busts. 
Those include more than 1,000 marijuana plants taken from a grow-op 
in a warehouse at 16 Birmingham St. in October; the closure of a 
crack house on the east Mountain at 13 Beaconsfield Dr. in November; 
and the seizure of drugs and firearms from a Mohawk Road East home, 
also in November.

Police also nabbed more than $60,000 in cash from suspected drug 
traffickers and two stolen cars.

Calvert said there's no way to measure the actual amount of drugs on 
the street, but the sweeps appear to have made an impact.

During a similar initiative in the summer, called Project HALT, 
police seized more than $1 million in drugs and seven firearms.


* Powdered cocaine: 536.4 grams; street value $54,000.

* Crack cocaine: 244.7 grams; street value $25,000.

* Processed marijuana: 3,605 grams; street value $72,000.

* Marijuana plants: 2,544 plants; street value $2,544,000.

* Heroin: 18.4 grams; street value $10,000.

* Illegal pills: 304 pills; street value $3,000.
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