Ontario Provincial Police officers across the province came together this Wednesday to share the shocking details of a 14-month probe into a drug-trafficking network. The network is reported to involve members of outlaw Ontario biker gangs. The OPP says that the gangs work together to move illegal drugs across the province.
The OPP's organized crime enforcement bureau worked alongside police from Ottawa, Sudbury and Niagara to arrest fifteen people who are facing close to 200 charges. The team which operated under the codename 'Project Skylark' helped bring down the individuals who are accused of moving fentanyl, cocaine, and methamphetamine across the province.
During the press conference, the OPP confirmed that biker gangs helped trafficked drugs throughout those three regions. “12 outlaw motorcycle gangs operate in Ontario and believe they’re above the law. They are modern-day organized crime gangs,” a statement from the OPP reads.
According to CP24, Bryan MacKillop, OPP Superintendent, revealed that police in Ottawa, Niagara Region, and Sudbury began probing a gang back in June 2018, after growing suspicious that the group was trafficking drugs and forcing women into the sex trade.
“These were people who were important figures in outlaw motorcycle gangs across the province,” MacKillop said.
12.5 kilograms of cocaine, 12.2 kilograms of cannabis, 2000 meth tablet and hundreds of 50 microgram fentanyl patches were found by officers last week after raids were conducted in several Ontario cities. Police also found eleven guns, including three assault rifles.
Out of the fifteen people who were taken into custody, six of them were members of known biker gangs including the Hell’s Angels Nomads. Police say the group is accused of being involved in the sexual enslavement of an undisclosed number of women.
According to the CBC, an outlaw motorcycle gang is defined by the RCMP as a group of riders and supporters who band together to follow a set of rules and engage in criminal activities. Biker gangs are considered to be a form of organized crime which the RCMP say exists in every province.
Details on this matter are still being reported. We will update the story when more information becomes available.