Police seize large quantity of drugs with street value of nearly $9 million
Chris Fox, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, October 13, 2016 11:23AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, October 13, 2016 6:34PM EDT
A 32-year-old man is facing charges in connection with what police are calling the “largest-value” drug bust in the history of the Toronto Police Service.
On Wednesday, officers seized 73 kilograms of powdered cocaine, 12 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and eight kilograms of MDMA following the execution of search warrants on a residence in the McCowan Road and Ellesmere Road area and on a vehicle that was stopped elsewhere in the City of Toronto.
The drugs that were seized had a street value of $8.98 million, according to police.
“We are talking about a very, very significant seizure of product,” Insp. Steven Watts told reporters on Thursday. “It is a hypothetical in terms of how much violence this could reduce or prevent but drugs and firearms and violence do go together. That is the nature of the business.”
Watts said that the investigation into the suspect began six weeks ago and culminated with the raids on Wednesday.
While Watts noted that there have been larger drug seizures involving the Canadian Border Service Agency, he said this investigation is unique because it was entirely Toronto-based.
“The key is that this was a Toronto-based investigation, a Toronto-based individual and this was product that was seized in the City of Toronto,” he said. “This (the drugs) wasn’t just passing through and destined for the east coast or the west coast, so we are talking about a substantive, substantive impact.”
Watts said that about 56 kilograms of the powdered cocaine was located inside the suspect’s residence while another 17 kilograms were found in his vehicle.
Those drugs, Watts said, were concealed in a custom built “trap” that was hidden behind the passenger seat.
Watts estimated that traps such as the one found in the truck cost upwards of $5,000 to install and are usually only accessible by pressing a series of buttons on the dash.
“It would be highly unlikely for a uniformed police officer or highway patrol officer to ever discover the trap,” Watts said. “The way it was concealed, the quality of it, it would be highly, highly unlikely if not impossible.”
Nicholas Shouldice, of Toronto, has been charged with two counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, one count of possession of MDMA for the purpose of trafficking, and one count of possession of crystal methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking.
Police have said that Shouldice does not have a criminal record.
He was released on $100,000 bail Thursday afternoon into the custody of his parents and sister. The conditions of his bail include that he must be under house arrest when he is not with his parents or sister, that he must not possess any weapons, that he not have more than one cellphone, and that he may not possess any drugs other than those prescribed to him.
He is expected to appear in court on Nov. 17.