Officers charged in grow-op raids granted bail
Two Toronto police officers charged in a large-scale drug trafficking operation have each been released from custody on $50,000 bail.
Constables Kevin Bourne and Patrick Lee, who are both in their 30s, are eight- and nine-year veterans of the force.
They were among 20 people charged during a series of pre-dawn raids throughout the Toronto area on Thursday.
The officers, who have been suspended from duty with pay, face various charges including production of a controlled substance, trafficking a controlled substance, obstruction of justice and breach of trust.
A publication ban prevents the media from publishing evidence presented at the hearing.
Three jail guards at the Toronto West Detention Centre and a real estate agent are among those charged in the marijuana grow-op ring, CTV News has learned.
Bourne's wife and Lee's girlfriend are also charged.
During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said officers had broken up a sophisticated drug operation that was producing and distributing marijuana and other drugs including ecstasy and steroids, and laundering the proceeds.
Police conducted 63 raids on Thursday morning and seized 17 pounds of marijuana, $60,000 in cash and a large amount of drug-making equipment.
Blair said evidence from earlier marijuana grow-op busts in York region allegedly linked the Toronto officers to a larger criminal network. The chief said the majority of the alleged criminal activity occurred in York.
This is the first time Toronto officers have been linked to a grow-op.
Police have laid 115 charges against the accused, who are appearing in a Newmarket court on Friday. One youth is among those charged in the investigation.
The next court appearance for constables Bourne and Lee has been set for Aug. 13.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Matet Nebres