Police departments in the Greater Toronto Area sometimes combine their significant resources to conduct sweeping investigations into the trafficking of illegal substances. While such investigations may result in the seizure of large amounts of drugs, innocent people can easily become caught up in the mix by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Fifteen people were recently arrested after officers from numerous departments searched 15 locations in Toronto, Halton and Hamilton. According to Halton Regional Police, the investigation lasted for eight months, and 140 officers were employed in the arrest of the 15 accused individuals. The charges against them include drug possession for the purpose of trafficking, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance and possession of a prohibited weapon.
At a press conference, the police presented evidence that was confiscated in the sweep. Police claim to have seized 2.5 kilograms of cocaine, 105 pounds of marijuana, 1 kilogram of cannabis resin, a Taser and two handguns. Police also seized four vehicles and $155,000 in cash suspected to be crime-related.
It remains to be seen whether prosecutors are able to establish an evidentiary link between the suspects and the alleged crimes. No drug-related charge automatically leads to a conviction, and overcharging does occur.
If you have been accused of a drug offence in Ontario, then you are facing the possibility of serious consequences. However, police officers and prosecutors do make mistakes, and no one should be convicted based on an error. An experienced criminal defence lawyer can assess and investigate your case with a view toward challenging the prosecution’s claims.