Toronto Police Have Taken 62 Guns Off Of The Street In A Firearm Trafficking Investigation

Police said Glocks are selling for up to $6K

Toronto Staff Writer
Confiscated guns.

Confiscated guns.

Toronto Police Service (TPS) has taken 62 guns off of the street in an eight-month-long firearm trafficking investigation titled "Project Barbell."

The fruitful investigation has led to six arrests, 260 criminal charges and the confiscation of 62 firearms, according to a press release.

The investigation started last fall in 2021, and TPS Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force members started investigating an armed group they believed was trafficking guns.

Several months into the investigation, on May 28, 2022, TPS used search warrants to look through vehicles, apartments, residences and addresses associated with the group.

The search warrants turned up a jackpot of guns, ammunition, a bulletproof vest, proceeds of crime and allegedly stolen vehicles, which led to six of the group members' arrests.

Confiscated guns.Confiscated guns.Toronto Police Service

The 62 confiscated firearms included five AR-15-type firearms and three AK-type firearms, according to police.

"Gun violence continues to be the most significant public safety concern for the people of Toronto. Every one of these guns was destined for our streets, our communities," said TPS Chief James Ramer.

Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi, Michael Simpson, Syeda Tirmizi, Shaheen Abdul and two unnamed individuals were charged with a slew of offences totalling 260 criminal charges.

Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi was also identified as the suspect in a "reckless shooting" from October 2021and is facing charges for pointing a firearm, discharging a firearm, having a loaded firearm, and possessing a "Restricted or Prohibited Firearm" without a license or registration.

In a press conference held Monday morning, Superintendent Steve Watts of Organized Crime Enforcement said most of the confiscated guns were handguns, which sell on the street for $4,500 to $6,000.

Watts spoke about the financial allure of trafficking weapons.

"It's a very good return on investment, if you know, depending on how much you're paying. If you're paying under $1,000, which you would be paying in the U.S for a Glock handgun, regardless of the model, and you can turn that into a $6,000 profit. Then you're looking at essentially $5,000 profit per item," said Watts.

Watts said he believes the guns they confiscated were meant to be sold in Toronto and the GTA.

Brooke Houghton
Toronto Staff Writer
Brooke Houghton is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Ontario Desk focused on celebrity news and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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