This week's story is a bit outside the GTA, but is worthy of being covered just because of the enormous number of charges leveled against six individuals. The Ottawa police department had been working with the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for the past two years to bring down what they are calling a cocaine ring. Whether each individual is facing all 75 charges or whether they are spread out among those arrested is not entirely clear, but the sheer scale of this police operation is staggering.
More than 100 officers were involved in the late-January bust. Ottawa police executed nine search warrants in various parts of the city, arresting six people. Some of those arrested were associated a single family, members of which police are also alleging of being involved in homicides.
There are three other men who were not arrested but are still wanted by police, one of whom is only 19 years old.
The charges that these six are facing are very serious and, if convicted, they could be spending a considerable amount time in prison, paying high fines and otherwise facing severe consequences.
According to police, there was more than 24 kilograms of cocaine recovered in the bust.
The Ottawa police chief has said that this was a "pre-emptive strike" against the supposed drug ring, which begs the question: had this group of people done anything illegal other than stockpile drugs? And, if this is the case, what prompted three different law enforcement organisations to band together to bring this ring down?
Source: Metro News, "Police bust major Ottawa cocaine ring in 'Project Anarchy'," Joe Lofaro, Jan. 30, 2014