Pubdate: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 Source: Windsor Star (CN ON) Copyright: 2012 The Windsor Star Contact: http://mapinc.org/url/PTv2GKdw Website: http://www.canada.com/windsorstar/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/501 Author: Trevor Wilhelm, The Windsor Star BUST MAKES DENT IN CITY DRUG SCENE 13 Arrested; Cash and Drugs Seized Police have taken down a gang of "wannabe kingpins" including one drug dealer who was released from prison while fighting a narcotics conviction, then allegedly went right back to selling cocaine. Investigators said they arrested 13 people who made up "a major organized group" in Windsor's drug scene, including initial target Shawn Joseph Evon, who is currently appealing a narcotics trafficking conviction. The joint forces probe also took $355,785 worth of drugs off the street along with a loaded handgun and $331,353 in cash, which Windsor police say was likely their largest money seizure ever. "The amount of drugs that are bought and purchased at that level, you need a large amount of money for them to buy six, seven, eight kilos of cocaine at $40,000 each," said Windsor police Insp. Randy Gould. "It's not 'I'll owe you,' it's 'where's the cash for my dope.' The fact that he had that much money means we got him just before he made a decent buy." The investigation lasted 41/2 months. It came to a head Monday with a series of pre-dawn raids meant to catch the sleeping criminals off guard. More than 80 officers, including the Windsor police Drugs, Intelligence, Guns and Surveillance unit and the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, executed five warrants in Windsor and one in LaSalle. Police seized 2,312 grams of cocaine powder, about a pound of crack cocaine, 16.8 pounds of marijuana plus six joints, 397.6 grams of magic mushrooms and 68.25 grams of marijuana resin plus another vial of resin. They also found six 100 mg morphine pills, seven 40 gram Oxycodone tablets, 34 Diazepam pills and 47 nabilone synthetic marijuana pills.Along with the drugs, police seized a canister of prohibited bear spray and a loaded .357 Hy Hunter revolver handgun. Gould said most of the drugs were destined for sale in the Windsor and Essex County area. "I think everyone would recognize that we are a major pipeline for narcotics coming from the United States into Canada," he said. "Some of it stays in our community and some of it goes down the highway." In addition to Evon, police nabbed Raymond John Caza, Michael Allan Broughton, Jason Potter and Gerald Keith Lauzon. They also arrested eight other people but have not released their names. The suspects, all previously known to police, face a total of 76 charges. The counts include conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances, possession of controlled substances for the purpose trafficking, trafficking in controlled substances, possession of controlled substances, weapons offences, possession of proceeds of crime, breach of probation and breach of recognizance. Gould said the suspects are considerable players in Windsor's drug world, but rejected the suggestion they were high -evel "kingpins." "I wouldn't say they're kingpins," said Gould. "They're wanna be kingpins maybe." Gould said Evon was the prime target of the investigation. He was sentenced last August to four years in prison after being convicted on multiple counts of possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking. The conviction stemmed from Evon's arrest in July 2008 when police searched his Queen Street home. Officers seized 520 percocet, 35 oxycodone pills, 120 morphine tablets, 52.7 grams of powder cocaine and 48.2 grams of crack cocaine. They also found 110 grams of powdered ecstasy, which was enough to be processed into more than 900 pills, along with $36,500 in cash bound in duct tape. Evon launched an appeal of his conviction and was released from custody while it winds its way through the court system. Evon's lawyer, Maria Carroccia, couldn't be reached for comment Friday. "Shortly after he was released, our drug unit was receiving information that he was active again in the trafficking of narcotics, so we recommenced our investigation upon him and other parties to his drug trafficking," said Gould. "It typifies his attitude toward the justice system," Gould added later. He said the court system's "revolving door syndrome" is a constant concern for police. "We always want to see high sentences handed out to help us stem the problem," said Gould. "Then the justice system is stymied somewhat by their rules and regulations too. We tend not to be overly happy with the results sometimes, but we understand where all or partners in the judicial come from." Police said they hope this week's seizure will also stem the flow of drugs in Windsor at least for a little while. But they're also being realistic. "We always enjoy making a good seizure," said Gould. "We're also realistic in knowing that we're still getting a pittance of what is out there. That's why, with our partners, we continue to hammer away at them and hopefully slow it down." - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.