A 15-month undercover drug investigation in Durham region has resulted in seizures worth an estimated $1 million, the arrest of 11 people and the laying of 66 charges.

Arrest warrants have been issued for two other suspects. Most of the charges relate to cocaine trafficking.

Durham Regional Police called the operation "Project Dasher," a news conference in Oshawa heard Wednesday.

It began when police heard a complaint about marijuana being sold out of a fishing tackle shop, the Rock and Reel on 500 King St. W. in Oshawa, reporters heard.

"We sent some officers down there to see if they could buy some drugs -- and they could and they did," Insp. Tom Cameron told CTV Toronto.

The investigation eventually reached into York Region and Toronto.

"And as we do in these investigations, we attempted to work up to higher levels, which is very important to put it out of business. We've got crack cocaine and powdered cocaine, both of which are responsible for destroying peoples' lives."

The news conference also had bags of marijuana on display.

Cameron also said much petty crime in the community is linked to the use of such drugs.

Chief Mike Ewles said the raids show other drug dealers that "we're here, and we're going to take the profit out of crime."

Among the seizures:

  • a .380-calibre handgun
  • about US$465,000 in cash
  • drugs with an estimated street value of $150,000
  • six vehicles, including a Porsche Cayenne worth $145,000

The other vehicles included a Range Rover, a BMW X5, a Cadillac CTS, a GMC Yukon, and a Chrysler 300.

"If you engage in criminal activity in our regional, particularly the drug trade ... we're going to seize all of your assets," Ewles said.

With a report from CTV Toronto's Jim Junkin