An investigation starting with a social media post has led to the seizure of more than $1.5 million worth of illicit drugs, but that is "just the tip of the iceberg" for Winnipeg's drug trafficking scene.
Last month, the Winnipeg Police Service's Guns & Gangs Unit and Organized Crime units began investigating a social media post that involved a firearm. The investigation grew significantly within 48 hours and now four people are facing a combined total of 109 charges.
People charged on August 19 include:
- a 37-year-old man is charged with 46 drug, firearm and assault-related offences
- a 36-year-old man is charged with 35 drug and firearm-related offence
- a 26-year-old woman is charged with 16 drug and firearm-related offences
- a 31-year-old woman is charged with 12 drug and firearm-related offences
"I want to point out that this is one individual responsible for what you are seeing on the table right now. It is because of this one individual that you see the violence on the street between street gangs, these young people shooting each other, and the drug trafficking going on," Organized Crime's commander, Inspector Elton Hall says in a Wednesday press conference.
During this investigation, $1.5 million worth of drugs were seized and more than a dozen weapons.
Drugs seized include:
- 17.8 kg of methamphetamine (estimated street value $890,000)
- 2.7 kilograms of cocaine (estimated street value $214,000)
- 8.5 kg Xanax pills (estimated street value $250,000)
- 1.5 kg Psilocybin (estimated street value $15,000)
- 500 grams Fentanyl (estimated street value $139,000)
- 19 Percocet pills and 36 Gabapentin pills (combined estimated street value $200)
"Don't mistake what I am saying; these drugs are being trafficked," Hall says.
The officer is noting that that one individual is responsible for bringing the pictured drugs and weapons into Winnipeg.
"I would suggest this is probably just the tip of the iceberg," Hall says, gesturing to the 17.8 kg of methamphetamine. He says roughly every 10-14 days traffickers "reload" supplies, and there are other drug trafficking organizations in Winnipeg.
"For this particular individual or group, this is a significant seizure for Winnipeg."
Weapons seized include:
- 12 gauge shotgun
- 40 calibre Sig Sauer P320 model
- .22 calibre Ruger rifle model 10-22
- .22 calibre GSG rifle model MP40
- 9 mm Ruger rifle model PC Carbine – obliterated serial number
- 22 Derringer Frontier model
- Glock 19 air pistols x 2
- Glock 17 air pistol
- Walther PPK air pistol
- Crosman SNR .357 air pistol
Two smoke grenades, various ammunition, and an inoperable revolver were seized.
A total of $150,000 in Canadian currency, a money counter, a vacuum sealer, and packaging materials were also taken.
The WPS could not say if this was gang-related but does say the significant amount of items seized is often seen with gang activity.