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In what is being described as the largest methamphetamine raid in Ontario history, five people have been charged with possession of a controlled substance and drug trafficking. The five have since appeared in an Oshawa court.
While it is the job of police and prosecutors to find and convict individuals of accused of participating in meth labs and production of drugs, labelling methamphetamines as a social problem has put even more pressure on the criminal justice system to quickly and harshly deal with the accused. This also means that those accused of making meth could find themselves facing long sentences and heavy fines.
The five individuals were arrested as part of a coordinated effort by multiple branches of law enforcement this past July. The Ontario Provincial Police Asian Organized Crime Task Force and the Canada Border Services Agency were just a few of the provincial and federal agencies involved. It appears that 11 different homes and businesses were raided in their effort to find and convict suspected methamphetamine manufacturers.
Though little has been reported to the media about the individuals arrested, a detective sergeant with the Ontario Provincial Police mentioned that many people arrested are unfamiliar with chemicals, posing a risk to themselves and the people around them. While it is unknown if the detective sergeant was implying that these five were engaged in risky behaviors, his comments do little more than fan the flames of fear, making it especially difficult for people charged with working in meth labs and producing drugs to get a fair trial.
Source: CBC News, “$40M meth lab bust one of largest in Ontario history,” 5 Sept. 2013