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Police Dismantle Massive Interprovincial Drug Network

February 24, 2021 11:30 AM | News

Project Gold Dust Drug Seizure

Const. Rob Carver with the Winnipeg Police Service announces Project Gold Dust on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. (WPS / FACEBOOK)

WINNIPEG — An $11.5 million drug operation that imported cocaine into Winnipeg from British Columbia has been dismantled by law enforcement.

Police say Project Gold Dust targeted the interprovincial cocaine trafficking ring, which the criminals dubbed “The Company.”

Using a sophisticated network of operators and local couriers, police say the ring imported multi-kilogram level quantities of cocaine into Winnipeg for further distribution. Large sums of cash were then returned to British Columbia as payment for the cocaine.

The investigation began in May 2020 and culminated on February 10, 2021, when 144 police officers executed 22 search warrants in Winnipeg and four in B.C.

Police arrested 11 people, who face similar drug-related charges.

As part of the operation, officers seized:

  • 17 kilograms of cocaine – Worth $1.4 million wholesale and $1.7 million on the street
  • 3 ounces of ecstasy – Street value of $3,000
  • 21 lbs cannabis – Street value of $63,000
  • $2,000,000 cash
  • $107,000 Bitcoin
  • $270,000 – Other proceeds of crime (Rolex watches/jewellery with appraisal certificates)
  • 110 kilograms of cutting agent – Street value $22,000
  • Numerous digital scales
  • Vacuum sealing equipment
  • Drug packaging material
  • Drug production equipment and respirators
  • 41 cell phones
  • 21 computers
  • $700,000 cash (in British Columbia)
  • 23 grams cocaine valued at $2,300 (in British Columbia)
  • 4 firearms:
    • Walther P99 9mm semi-automatic handgun
    • Sig Sauer P226R Legion handgun
    • Daniel Defense M4 carbine automatic rifle
    • Savage Model 110 .308 calibre rifle
    • Various ammunition and firearm components

The investigation also led to the seizure of 12 vehicles in Manitoba worth an estimated $230,000, plus four vehicles in B.C. worth $90,500.

Police also seized $4,644,000 in residential and commercial properties in Manitoba and $3,539,000 in property in B.C.

In total, Winnipeg police and their law enforcement partners seized $11,580,500 in cash, proceeds of crime and assets.