Pubdate: Thu, 29 May 2014
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2014 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Shawn Jeffords
Page: 4


Police make 'significant dent' in gang violence, guns and drugs

Police arrested 50 people early Wednesday morning in a raid which
targeted two rival gangs.

Acting Toronto Police chief Mark Saunders said two operations, known
as Project RX and Project Battery, have been ongoing for nearly a year.

Officers focused on the Sic Thugs and Asian Assassinz, he

"Both gangs are allegedly rival gangs and each have been involved in a
series of shootings that have occurred in the city of Toronto,"
Saunders said.

Police from across the province raided 53 addresses in and outside of
the city around 5 a.m. They seized 10 guns, cocaine, heroin and
marijuana during the raids. Two cocaine presses were also seized.

"These two rival gangs are incredibly ruthless," said Saunders. Those
arrested face a variety of charges which include armed robbery, human
trafficking and weapons and drug offences.

Police would not name any of the accused gangsters or even disclose
the courthouses where the alleged offenders will appear, citing
security concerns.

In addition to Toronto force, officers from Peel, York, Durham,
Waterloo, Guelph, Windsor, London, Hamilton, Belleville, South Simcoe,
Halton, Brantford, Niagara and the RCMP helped execute the warrants.

"They have put a significant dent (in) the violence that has occurred
in city," said Saunders.

Saunders said the unique thing about the case is the level of
sophistication of both gangs. Typically, gangsters centre their
activities in a small geographic location but members of these gangs
committed crimes across the GTA, he said.

"Now we're starting to see these gangs have that violence ... but they
also have a much stronger level of sophistication, have a much
stronger level of organization and that's something to be concerned
with at this point."

Both gangs have been linked to high-profile shootings in recent years
at busy malls. Last April, an internal dispute is believed to have
resulted in the murder of a member of the Asian Assassins at Yorkdale
Mall. In June 2012, three men with suspected links to the Sic Thugs
were killed in a shooting at the Eaton Centre.

Dozens of locations were raided across the GTA, including a new condo
development on Western Battery Rd. in upscale Liberty Village.

The neighbourhood was quiet hours after the raids with no sign of
police presence. But on the 12th floor, an apartment door was smashed
just above the deadbolt lock and the doorway was covered in yellow
caution tape.

Jordan, who works at a local radio station and lives next door, said
he saw police swarming around the building around 6:30 a.m. as he was
on his way to the gym.

"I saw a tactical team in this big SUV-type vehicle that looked like
it was a moving van," he said. "There were officers in the lobby and
all over the place. It's pretty surprising this type of stuff is going
on around here."

Jordan said while the raid was shocking, the high-profile gang
shootings need police attention.

"It's one thing when these guys are shooting it out in dark alleys,"
he said. "It's completely another when they duke it out in a crowded
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