Plainclothes Units from 14 and 51 Divisions, together with the Toronto drug squad, joined forces to address community concerns of street level drug dealing in the Downtown residential area and community parks, with Project Blue Diamond and Project Deed (Drug Enforcement Everywhere Downtown) respectively.
Undercover officers made drug purchases in Downtown communities, resulting in the arrests of 150 alleged street level drug dealers, charged with 428 charges which included trafficking, possession of narcotics for the purpose of trafficking and proceeds of crime. Those 150 arrested have accumulated 2,276 previous criminal convictions.
51 Division Detective Sergeant Howie Page said, “We are not going away. We will not abandon the communities we serve. We are bringing in reinforcements to ensure our mission is successful. We are going to be very clear in our caution to those who believe they can take over our community parks and neighborhoods. We have promised the Downtown community that we would be proactive in ridding the parks and neighborhoods of street level drug dealing. This joint project has been successful but, with the assistance of our TAVIS deployment, and working with our community groups, drug traffickers will quickly find they will not be able to use our parks and neighborhoods to sell drugs.”
Previous Downtown drug projects revealed drug dealers would move from one Downtown area to another to avoid police detection. Plainclothes officers from the two Downtown divisions joined forces to arrest and charge them. During this joint initiative, officers seized approximately $240,000 worth of various narcotics and $80,000 cash as proceeds of drug trafficking. The narcotics seized included: crack cocaine, powder cocaine, marijuana, hashish, ecstasy (MDMA), crystal methamphetamine, ketamine, GHB, oxycodone, valium, viagra, codeine and lorazepam.
Although 150 arrested drug dealers have been arrested during this joint operation, a significant number of the arrested parties have been released on bail with various court imposed conditions. As part of this initiative a dedicated follow-up maintenance program has been established within these two divisions. Members of TAVIS (Toronto Anti−Violence Intervention Strategy) rapid response teams will be deployed throughout the summer months to patrol these communities and conduct compliance checks on anyone released on bail, to ensure they are abiding by their conditions of release. These additional police officers will also be deployed to supplement the 51 and 14 Division officers to patrol these neighbourhoods.