76 arrested after drug probe in Toronto
Toronto police arrested 76 people with drug deal charges, and seized various drugs and $20, 000 in cash. The 76 arrested face a total of 200 charges now, and had average of 24 prior convictions.
Toronto police have put 76 people under arrest after a lengthy drug investigation spurred by a community's complaints.
Chapman said police seized cocaine, marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, oxycontin and other drugs during the investigation along with $20,000 in cash.
The 76 people arrested face a total of 200 charges.
The arrested suspects have a total of 1,822 prior convictions.
The arrests were made in 14th division, located at the west end of the city. The arrests came as part of the project called 'Escape', where police went undercover to buy drugs and they were able to buy three dozen times.
The arrests were made throughout 14 Division, located in the west end of the city. The division includes the Parkdale, Roncesvalles, Little Portugal, Little Italy, Trinity Bellwoods and Dovercourt neighbourhoods.
The arrests were part of a police project titled 'Escape' where officers posed undercover in an effort to buy drugs from street dealers. Det. Karen Chapman with 14 Division told a news conference Wednesday morning that police were able to buy drugs three dozen times.
30 of the arrested do not live in the area of 14th division and 21 of them were under probation.
Of the 76 people arrested, 30 of them do not live within the boundaries of 14 Division, she said. Twenty-one of them were on probation at the time of their arrest. The arrested suspects have a total of 1,822 prior convictions.
Det. Karen Chapman stated that the arrest efforts came after complaint from the community, alleging that the drug dealers were "taking over the neighbourhood".
Chapman said police began Project Escape after residents and businesses complained about drug dealers invading their neighbourhood.
"Neighbours see their kids playing in their yards and someone doing a drug deal on the sidewalk in front of them," she said, explaining the type of complaints that police received. "That's taking over the neighbourhood."
Spokes persons from the police had stated that there will be an increase police presence in the area and that their "efforts to improve the quality of life in these neighbourhoods" will continue.
As a result of the project, there will be an increased police presence in the area and a concerted effort to check up on the suspects who have been released from police custody with conditions.
"The project doesn't mark the end of our effort to improve the quality of life in these neighbourhoods," said Det. Sgt. Brian Kelly.