8 arrests and $17M in drugs in what could be Canada's largest bust by local police service

It's most likely the largest drug bust in Canadian history by a police service, and it stretched from Toronto to southwestern Ontario.

A total of $17 million in street value of drugs and $308,000 in cash were seized during the execution of 29 search warrants across Toronto.

Police say they executed 29 search warrants in Toronto, Vaughan, Kitchener, and Stoney Creek and arrested eight people.

“It is certainly the largest seizure that I am aware of in relation to the Toronto Police Service and I would suggest it’s likely the largest seizure in Canada by a police service,” said Insp. Don Belanger, at a news conference at police headquarters.

Don Belanger said experts estimate the drugs, precursors and cutting agents uncovered in Project DOS have a potential street value of $17 million.

“The results of this investigation are truly impressive and will have a direct impact on disrupting the supply of cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and black market cannabis to the streets of Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe,” he said.

While some of these search warrants were executed at the residences of the accused individuals, a significant number were executed on vehicles linked to the accused as well as storage rooms.

“Much of the seized contraband was located in lockers and condos that were being used as stash houses,” said Belanger.

The drugs seized include cocaine, marijuana, ephedrine and phenacetin.

Belanger said the investigation led to a marijuana grow operation in Kitchener.

“Despite having been issued a license by Health Canada to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes, it is our allegation that this grow operation exceeded its allowable grow limit by an astounding 3,905 plants,” he said. “Based on a conservative estimate that one marijuana plant can produce 250 grams of dried marijuana, 3,905 plants have the potential to generate profits of close to $10 million.”