Toronto police say an eight-month investigation into the alleged criminal activities of a 19-year-old gang leader and his associates has led to nearly 100 charges and the arrest of a “group of extremely violent individuals.”
At a news conference on Wednesday morning, Det.-Sgt. Rich Harris told reporters that the investigation, dubbed Project Compound, was launched by the gun and gang task force and the organized crime enforcement unit at the end of 2019 following an increase in gun violence in the city’s Thorncliffe Park neighbourhood.
Harris said police were specifically focused on the criminal activities of one 19-year-old man and other members of his group.
“It is believed and alleged that this group purposefully set out to commit violent acts against targeted individuals for the sole purpose of monetary gain and retribution,” Harris said.
Harris said the investigation culminated last week with the execution of search warrants at nine addresses in Toronto and Cambridge, resulting in the seizure of a large quantity of cocaine, MDMA, fentanyl, marijuana, and $100,000 in cash.
Seven firearms were also seized, police said, and 11 people have now been arrested in connection with the investigation.
“I’m here to say that (investigators) helped remove an alleged group of extremely violent individuals off the streets of the City of Toronto,” Harris said Wednesday.
Salman Jogiyat, a 19-year-old Toronto man who Harris said is believed to be the leader of the group, is facing dozens of charges, including two counts of attempted murder and eight counts of conspiracy to commit murder.
The other suspects charged in connection with the investigation have been identified by police as Toronto residents Moosa Jogiyat, 20, Mothusi Sebape, 25, Sufyan Jogiyat, 25, Saleha Jogiyat, 24, Ryan Ally, 31, Aun Ali, 21, Justin Ramroop, 22, Abid Patel, 19, Daniyal Bakharia, 20, and 19-year-old Cambridge resident Hasna Amir.
Police say 26-year-old Toronto residents Sufyan Dadabhai and Sadi Zalloum are also wanted by investigators.
“The arrests today significantly disrupt gun and gang activity that has been jeopardizing community safety in that area and in other areas of the city,” Supt. Steve Watts, of the organized crime enforcement unit, said in a written statement released Wednesday.