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Cablegate: More Drug Seizures and Arrests in Ontario

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RR RUEHGA RUEHHA RUEHQU RUEHVC
DE RUEHON #0069 0711824
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111824Z MAR 08
FM AMCONSUL TORONTO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2383
INFO RUCNCAN/ALCAN COLLECTIVE
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
RUEPINS/HQ BICE INTEL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHDC

UNCLAS TORONTO 000069

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR KCRM PGOV CA
SUBJECT: More Drug Seizures and Arrests in Ontario

REF: (A) Toronto 59 (B) 07 Toronto 448

Sensitive But Unclassified - Protect Accordingly.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Over the past two months, Toronto Police rounded
up 96 street-level drug dealers in western Toronto. The
retail-level arrests come on the heels of a separate Toronto Police
undercover operation that arrested 23 drug dealers in the downtown
core of the city. On February 27 the Canadian Border Services
Agency (CBSA) seized a land border record of 230 kilograms of
cocaine with an estimated street value of C$28.7 million from a
transport truck at the Blue Water Bridge near Sarnia, Ontario. We
are encouraged by Toronto Police efforts to identify and arrest
small but visible street-level drug dealers. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------------------
Toronto Police Tackle Retail Drug Trade
---------------------------------------

2. (U) On Monday, February 4, 2008, Toronto Police units began a
five week undercover drug trafficking investigation dubbed Project
I.C.E. (Infiltrate Crack Entrepreneurs) to address community
concerns about drug trafficking in five Toronto neighborhoods. As
of March 11, 2008 96 suspects have been arrested and 238 drug
related charges filed. 45 of those arrested were free on bail or
probation when they were arrested for the new offences. Police
targeted five neighborhoods in the western areas of Toronto. A wide
variety of illicit drugs were seized including: 318 grams of
cocaine and crack with a street value of C$31,800; 415 grams of
marijuana with a street value of C$800; C$10,798 in cash proceeds of
designated drug offences; and other drugs including hashish
(cannabis sativa), Special K (ketamine), ecstasy,
(MDMA-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine), GHB (Gamma hydroxybutyrate),
LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), and Magic Mushroom (Psilocybin).


3. (U) Project I.C.E. comes on the heels of two other similar
large-scale undercover drug busts. Operation "Take the Money and
Run," on February 27, 2008 led to 23 arrests and 61 drug-related
charges against street-level drug dealers in and around Toronto's
downtown Yonge Street corridor (ref (A)). In September, 2007, a
ten-month long joint investigation with U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) agents led the RCMP to arrest 11 Toronto-area
residents and ICE to arrest 12 people in the U.S. for drug
trafficking (ref (B)).

------------------------------------
Cocaine Seized on its Way to Toronto
------------------------------------

4. (U) On February 27 the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA)
seized 129 bricks of cocaine weighing 230 kilograms with an
estimated street value of C$28.7 million, the largest land border
seizure in Canadian history, from the cab of a transport truck at
the Blue Water Bridge near Sarnia, Ontario. The truck driver, a
Toronto-area resident, was arrested and charged with unlawfully
importing drugs and possession of cocaine for the purpose of
trafficking. That seizure followed by just one day a February 26
seizure by CBSA officers of C$3.1 million worth of cocaine at the
Detroit/Windsor Ambassador Bridge (ref (A)).

5. (SBU) COMMENT: We are encouraged by Toronto Police efforts to
clean up city streets by identifying and arresting small but visible
retail-level drug dealers. The CBSA record cocaine seizures at
major U.S.-Ontario border crossings are also extremely positive.
Ontario-based law enforcement agencies are working hard to combat
the drug trade through a series of highly successful undercover drug
projects. Yet, the recent significant seizures along the
U.S.-Ontario border demonstrate the continued profitability of the
trans-border drug trade and the importance of continued information
sharing and operational cooperation between U.S. and Canadian law
enforcement agencies in stemming the flow of drugs, guns, and
illicit cash across the border. END COMMENT.

NAY


1

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