WINNIPEG - A massive drug bust, led by the Winnipeg Police with assistance from many other agencies has led to the seizure of more than $1.5 million of drugs and the arrest of ten individuals.
The investigation into the sophisticated interprovincial organized crime network began almost nine months ago and involved the transportation of multiple kilograms of cocaine, opioids, and significant amounts of illegal cannabis and tobacco from Southern Ontario into the City of Winnipeg.
The investigation grew, leading to the Winnipeg Police Service Organized Crime Unit, in collaboration with the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Province of Manitoba Finance and Taxation, to initiate Project Highland.
On December 18, 2019, eight search warrants were simultaneously executed in the City of Winnipeg, rural Manitoba, and the Province of Ontario.
As a result of the search warrants, ten adults were arrested and charged with 34 criminal code offences related to conspiracy and trafficking of a controlled substance, proceeds of crime, unlawful possession of cannabis, posses not Manitoba marked Tobacco.
The following items were seized:
Approximately $120,000.00 cash
13 kilograms of cocaine
Street value of $1.3 million
Bulk value of $800,000.00
45 lbs of illegal cannabis
Bulk value of $ 126,000
Street value of $ 190,680
21 bags of cannabis edibles - gummies
Street value of $1,050
246 cases of cigarettes
2.46 million individual cigarettes
Lost tax value of $739,326
Potential triple tax penalty $2,217,978
Street value of $492,884
Bulk value of $147,600
824 alprazolam (xanax) bars
Street value of $4,120
362 grams of ecstasy (MDMA)
Street value of $14,480
370 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms)
Street value of $7,400
185 grams benzocaine (cutting agent)
Street value of $1,320
Three digital money counters
Scales, score sheets, drug packaging material, and vacuum sealing equipment
Cannabis extraction press
17 mobile communication devices
400 rounds of 22 caliber ammunition
57 rounds of 726 caliber ammunition
2017 Jaguar FPACE R-Sport 35T (approx. value $50,000)
2015 Lexus NX 200T (approx.. value $30,000)
2011 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS (approx. value $10,000)
2019 Ford F150 (approx. value $45,000)
2014 Dodge Ram 1500 with hidden compartment (approx. value $25,000)
2007 Great 741 30 ft. enclosed trailer (approx. value $15,000)
32 year-old Stephen Pierpoint of Aurora, Ontario, 34 year-old Curtis Hibbert of Winnipeg, 25 year-old Samantha Gunn of Winnipeg, 24 year-old Darryan Edwards of Winnipeg, 37 year-old Safa Allen of Winnipeg, 37 year-old Laura Lippai of Winnipeg, 34 year-old Jeremy Ritchot, 34 year-old Rajvathanan Rajasekaran of Calgary, 31 year-old Sinthusan Shanmuganathan of Whitby, and 36 year-old Vinothan Uthayakumarhas all face multiple drug-trafficking charges.