CN ON: $11.7M Pot Bust

Pubdate: Thu, 03 Sep 2009
Source: Intelligencer, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2009, Osprey Media Group Inc.
Author: Luke Hendry, Staff Writer
Note: MAP archives articles exactly as published, except that our 
editors may redact the names and addresses of accused persons who have 
not been convicted of a crime, if those named are not otherwise public 
figures or officials.


PROJECT INDUSTRIOUS: Takes Down More Drug Dealers

The third phase in a major regional drug sweep has resulted in charges
against eight people and the seizure of $11.7 million in marijuana.

Ontario Provincial and Belleville police released details Wednesday on
the latest results of Project Industrious, an ongoing investigation in
which police said public tips have been crucial.

They said city, provincial, Toronto and Royal Canadian Mounted Police
officers were involved in seven drug searches Tuesday morning in the
Bancroft, Sharbot Lake and Toronto areas.

"This project has been extremely successful," said Belleville Police
Chief Cory McMullan during Wednesday's press conference at the Gerry
Masterson Community Centre on Harmony Road.

"More than 11,700 marijuana plants were seized yesterday," said
Det.-Insp. Bryan Martin of the OPP's drug enforcement section.

He said that brings the "conservative" grand total of drugs seized
under Project Industrious to $22 million.

Four of Tuesday's searches were in the Bancroft area: one on McDonald
Mine Road in Monteagle Ward of Hastings Highlands Township and
northeast of the hamlet of Bird's Creek; one on Madawaska Road, north
of Maynooth; and one each on New Carlow Road and Highway 28, both in

Marijuana plants and gear were seized at all but the Highway 28
property. Further evidence was seized from the highway lot plus one
property in Sharbot Lake and two in Scarborough.

"The investigation commenced with tips from the citizens of
Belleville," McMullan said.

Information gathered during the project's first two phases led to
Tuesday's raids, police said.

"Without the community coming forward with that information, we
wouldn't be where we're at today," said McMullan.

She said the case's success is also due to "fabulous" and extensive
collaboration between the different police forces and their many
units, from tactical to aerial to drugs and organized crime.

"Individually we wouldn't have been able to do it to this level," said
the chief.

She asked anyone with information on suspected drug activity to call
police or Crimestoppers.

"It doesn't matter how small or insignificant they feel it to be,"
McMullan said, noting even a small tip could be a piece of a larger

Charged Tuesday with participating in a criminal organization were
three women and five men.

They are: [redacted]

Police said further charges are pending.

A total of 12 people have now been charged, with several being charged
in more than one phase of the project.

The first two phases occurred June 16 and 17 as marijuana growing
operations in Brighton, Belleville and Toronto were raided by police.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr