Twenty-four people have been arrested in connection with a crime group allegedly responsible for tractor-trailer cargo thefts and other violent criminal acts throughout the Greater Toronto Area, Peel Regional Police say.

In early 2022, police began an investigation into an organized criminal group operating in Peel Region and the GTA.

A special project team was created through funding from the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario department.

“The suspects used violence, intimidation and financial reward to recruit members and commit criminal acts throughout southern Ontario. This group is believed to be responsible for multiple weapons offences, cargo thefts and drug trafficking,” police said in a news release on Saturday.

As a result of the probe, 24 people with suspected affiliation to the group were arrested and a total of 54 charges were laid, police said.

Charges include uttering threats to cause death, possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm, theft over $5,000, and fraud-related charges among others.

Investigators say search warrants to 14 properties were conducted, leading to the seizure of four firearms including a sawed off shotgun, 10 stolen vehicles worth over $1.1 million, stolen heating and air conditioning units valued at over $460,000 and illegal opioids worth in excess of $25,000.

Police are asking anyone with information about the investigation to contact them at 905-453-2121, extension 2133 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).