18 arrested across Toronto in 'Project Decepticon'
A massive series of raids on homes across the Greater Toronto Area resulted in the arrest of 18 suspects and a major blow to a regional drug trafficking ring, police said Wednesday.
Toronto police said that 26 search warrants were executed on homes and businesses across Toronto, York and Durham in the culmination of "Project Decepticon," a months-long investigation into the illicit sale and distribution of drugs, specifically ecstasy and cocaine.
Twelve suspects were initially targeted in the investigation that began in August, but it expanded to include York, Durham, Belleville, and Hamilton.
CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman said investigators seized various amounts of cocaine and hashish, about $250,000 worth of ecstasy and more than 50 pounds of marijuana.
Police also seized seven vehicles and some $27,000 in cash which was stashed in the house.
A total of 18 people were arrested and numerous drug-related charges have been laid.
However, only six of those arrested made court appearances on Wednesday.
One woman was taken away in an ambulance with a bandage around her head following a raid on a home in Scarborough. She later returned to her residence.
She later told CTV News through the broken door of her home that she had no idea why her son was arrested.
"I don't know, they are (saying) drugs, I don't know," she said. "But he would never do that job."
Neighbour Tom Benedict, who woke up to a line of police cruisers across from his home, said the house saw constant traffic.
"Always people come and go night time parties, but I don't know what's going on," he said.
"Decepticon" is the name of the villainous robots from the Transformers cartoons and movie series.
Toronto police said a news conference will be held Thursday afternoon, during which officers will share further information and display some of the items seized during the raids.
With files from CTV Toronto's Tamara Cherry and Zuraidah Alman