Police in Ont., B.C. seize 295 kilograms of pot
A police officer holds a handful of seized marijuana during a presentation to journalists at a police station in Cali, Colombia. (AP / Carlos Julio Martinez)
Published Wednesday, November 7, 2012 4:55PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 7, 2012 5:33PM EST
TORONTO -- Ten men across two provinces are facing a raft of charges after a joint police task force began dismantling a national marijuana trafficking operation Wednesday.
The arrests marked the culmination of a seven-month-long investigation that netted a considerable quantity of cash and drugs, police forces in Toronto and Vancouver said in a statement.
Ontario's Asian Organized Crime Task Force teamed up with police in British Columbia to initiate a series of raids in Toronto and Vancouver, officials said.
After executing eight search warrants in Toronto and three in Vancouver, police said they seized 295 kilograms of marijuana, $660,000 in cash and eight vehicles.
Toronto police said they arrested eight suspects currently living in Ontario, while officers in British Columbia took two men into custody.
The Ontario suspects range in age from 23 to 54 and mostly hail from Toronto, though police said one identified London, Ont., as his home town.
The Vancouver suspects, aged 26 and 29, will be sent to Ontario to face charges, Vancouver police said. The two men are slated to make their first court appearance in Toronto on Friday.
All 10 suspects face a variety of charges, including trafficking in a controlled substance, laundering proceeds of crime and participating in a criminal organization, police said.
The Asian Organized Crime Task Force, which led the investigation dubbed Project Lie See, is a joint operation involving several municipal and provincial police officers as well as members of the RCMP. They were assisted by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia.
"Organized crime continues to spread its reach across Canada and the success of Project Lie See reaffirms that the intelligence sharing and co-operation between law enforcement throughout the country is unparalleled," CFSEU-BC spokesperson spokesman Sgt. Lindsey Houghton said in a statement.
"As criminals do business across Canada, so will we and it is essential that we continue to participate in co-ordinated investigations to make our country safer."