Toronto police said they had put a “significant dent” in an organized crime operation through Project Moses, a drug trafficking and firearms investigation conducted with police in Ottawa.
Insp. Steve Watts stood behind a table showing an assault rifle, six different handguns, more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition and roughly enough illicit drugs of similar weight to a newborn baby at a news conference Monday morning.
Watts highlighted the dangers police officers faced during multiple raids last week.
“Everyone watches Netflix,” he told reporters. “This is reality . . . Search warrants are always high-risk, uncontrolled situations behind closed doors.”
One man was arrested and contraband worth thousands of dollars was seized.
“Throughout this investigation, numerous addresses, including residences, stash locations, and motor vehicles were identified as being under the control of three different individuals,” Watts said.
Watts said that they seized 2.5 kg of cocaine, 1 kg of fentanyl, 0.5 kg of heroin, and 2 kg of cannabis, all worth just under $700,000 in street value. They also found more than $60,000 in cash.
“We’re dealing with the weights of products, we’re dealing with the number of firearms, in a real-time basis that people watch (on) Netflix at home,” Watts said.
Many drugs were inside packaging labelled “Tupac Corporation,” although Watts declined to “speak to Tupac or his legacy” when asked by a reporter about the dead rapper.
“We all know we have international suppliers,” Watts said, “The key thing that connects them all, the parallel between them all, is money.”
Gesturing towards the seized firearms, Watts said he was concerned about the volume of weaponry.
“It’s easy access to literally turn into a shooting, a homicide,” Watts said.
Nicholas Ortega, 42, of Ottawa, was arrested Friday in Toronto.
Police are still seeking two suspects: Vincent Yun-Hao Huang, 34, and Daniel Kam-Wah Siu, 33.
Ilya Bañares is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow him on Twitter: @ilyaoverseas