39 raids conducted; 150,000 ecstasy pills and $1.3M seized
MONTREAL - A major police operation has broken up a drug ring that supplied organized criminal drug brokers operating from Montreal and places in the United States.
Police conducted 39 raids in and around Montreal Island Thursday, netting 150,000 pills of ecstasy, $1 million in cash and $300,000 U.S. in cash, Montreal police police Commander Denis Mainville said Friday morning. Two marijuana grow-ops were also raided, one in St. Colomban in the Laurentians another in the Mirabel area.
Fifteen people were arrested, including 12 men and three women. They are likely to be arraigned Saturday on charges including conspiracy and drug trafficking. three of those arrested were being sought by Canadian immigration officials. One of those was sought for extradition and another for illegal entry into Canada.
The raids were conducted on 39 businesses and private homes on Montreal Island and in the surrounding regions; 25 of the raids were on Montreal Island and 14 were in Longueuil, Laval, terrebonne, St. Colomban, Boisbriand, St. Joseph du Lac, Ste. Marthe sue le Lac and Mirabel.
One of the places raided was the Titanium Gym on Cremazie Blvd. in Montreal's St. Michel district, where Mainville alledged the ring leaders had their headquarters.
"They were basically supplying major crime groups with large amounts of drugs. They were basically brokers and sold drugs to the mafia, biker gangs and street gangs," Mainville said.
The raids and arrests were the result of an investigation that began in Sept. 2010, Mainville said. Although police seized only two kilograms of cocaine and 1.3 kilos of pot during Thursday's raids, Mainville said he believed the arrests will put a major dent in underground drug trafficking.
The police operation, called Acabar, involved 450 police officers from the Montreal police, the Sûreté du Québec, the RCMP, other local police and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Police were tightlipped about the operation on Thursday while it was underway because they did not want to jeopardize it, Montreal police Constable Anie Lemieux said.
The operation may still be ongoing Friday in the New York City area, Mainville said.
April 08, 2011
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