Two alleged gang leaders among the arrested
Two alleged leaders of a notoriously violent Jamaican-based gang were arrested in a series of sweeps that police carried out in the city’s northwest end, CTV Toronto has learned.
About 1,000 officers from a number of services executed 105 search warrants in the pre-dawn Monday raids. They detained more than 70 alleged gang members.
Working with the Canada Border Services Agency, they also identified and seized 72 kilograms of cocaine in the Dominican Republic that was allegedly destined for Toronto.
Police believe the Falstaff Crips and Five Point Generals are working with a Jamaican-based criminal group known as the Shower Posse. They believe that group supplies drugs for street-level sale, as well as selling firearms to the gangs.
The two gang leaders arrested in the sweep headed up the Shower Posse’s Toronto chapter, police allege. One of them was under house arrest when he was taken into custody.
Oliver “Twinky” Willis, another Toronto man, was arrested in the Dominican Republic in connection with the cocaine bust. Seven years ago, Willis had first-degree murder charges dropped against him in a Toronto court, after a witness refused to testify.
Meanwhile, suspects arrested in the sweep applied for bail at the Finch Avenue courthouse on Wednesday.
One mother at the courthouse defended her to reporters outside.
"My boy is a good boy. He works, he's going to college in September … he got promoted in a different job," Angelita White said about Omar Francis, 19, one of 71 people arrested in what Toronto Police have called Operation Corral.
He is facing charges of participating in a criminal organization.
One community outreach worker said he doesn't believe Omar Francis is involved with gangs. He invited reporters to keep an eye on the mass arrests and see how many charges stick in two to three months.
In 2007, Ricardo Francis, another of White's sons, was gunned down. Police found the 23-year-old on the lawn of an Eden Garth Court townhouse. His murder has not been solved.
Some interviewed by CTV News at the time said Ricardo was a good person, but that he associated with some questionable people.
While Omar Francis might know what charges he is facing, police haven't yet fully outlined who is facing what charges in Operation Corral.
Chief Bill Blair said Monday that the main targets of the operation were members of the Falstaff Crips and the Five Point Generals, two violent street gangs in the city's northwest.
They outlined the following seizures:
- drugs, including cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana and ecstasy
- $30,000 in cash
- $10,500 in casino cheques
- body armour
Tuesday's raids were not the first time police had made seizures or arrests under Project Corral. Between January and May 2, police seized nine firearms and more than $300,000 in proceeds of crime.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Austin Delaney