Winnipeg police have seized $2.2 million in drugs and charged two people following an investigation that began earlier this year.
Police executed a search warrant on April 16 on an apartment suite in the 2200 block of Pembina Highway, as well as an apartment suite in the South Pointe neighbourhood.
As part of the investigation, officers also stopped a vehicle on St. Mary’s Road the same day and took two men into custody who lived at the two addresses.
A search of the Pembina Highway apartment yielded:
- 9 kilograms of methamphetamine (valued at $1,800,000)
- 4 kilograms of cocaine ($400,000)
- 326 grams of ecstasy ($3,500)
- 0.5 kilograms of benzocaine (cutting agent, $2,500)
- $5,895 in Canadian currency
- Ballistic vest
- Money counter
“The sheer volume of methamphetamine and cocaine that you see before you, with the estimated value of $2.2 million, it really had a large potential to spread significant impact,” Inspector Max Waddell told a news conference Wednesday, pointing to a table covered in large clear bags filled with white drugs.
James Daniel Perlett, 43, and Biniam Mengistu Fitur, 40, each face several drug charges and remain in custody.
Police estimate the substantial drug haul had the potential to go to 90,000 people in Winnipeg.
“We know how highly addictive methamphetamine is — that would put a massive health strain on all of our systems,” Waddell said.
He said most drugs are still coming from Mexican cartels, and the cartels are having trouble getting the chemicals needed to process the drugs, causing the spike in prices.
They are still finding ways to bring drugs across the United States-Canada border, despite its closure to non-essential traffic due to COVID-19, Waddell added.
With less people out on the streets, he said police have been able to perform multiple significant drug busts.
Addictions can be so powerful, however, that Waddell said they aren’t seeing a decrease in the volume of drugs getting to people.
“The pressures of the pandemic I think have also impacted the addictions cycle.”
— With files from The Canadian Press