Winnipeg police lay more than 100 charges after seizing $1.5M in drugs

Officers with the Winnipeg Police Service have laid more than 100 charges following a drugs and firearms investigation that resulted in the seizure of over $1.5 million in illicit drugs and numerous firearms.

The Winnipeg police’s guns and gangs unit, as well as the organized crime unit, began their investigation in August 2021 due to a social media post involving a gun.

The guns and gangs unit then continued with the investigation, which turned into a firearm and drug-related investigation.

On Aug. 19, officers executed three search warrants – one at a home in the first 100 block of Dalhousie Drive, one at a home in the 200 block of Provencher Boulevard, and another at a hotel in the 1800 block of Pembina Highway.

During these searches, police seized more than $1.5 million in illicit drugs, $150,000 in cash, and a number of firearms and ammunition.

(CTV News Photo Glenn Pismenny)

The items seized include:

  • 17.8 kilograms of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $890,000;
  • 2.7 kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $214,000;
  • 8.5 kilograms of Xanax pills with an estimated street value of $250,000;
  • 1.5 kilograms of Psilocybin with an estimated street value of $15,000;
  • 500 grams of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $139,000;
  • 19 Percocet pills and 36 Gabapentin pills with a combined estimated street value of $200;
  • $150,000 in cash;
  • A money counter, vacuum sealer and packaging materials;
  • 12-gauge shotgun;
  • 40 calibre Sig Sauer P320 model;
  • .22 calibre Ruger rifle model 10-22;
  • .22 calibre GSG rifle model MP40;
  • 9 mm Ruger rifle model PC Carbine – obliterated serial number;
  • Inoperable revolver;
  • .22 Derringer Frontier model;
  • Two Glock 19 air pistols;
  • Glock 17 air pistol;
  • Walther PPK air pistol;
  • Crosman SNR .357 air pistol;
  • Various ammunition (compatible with all these firearms) and;
  • Two smoke grenades.

(CTV News Photo Glenn Pismenny)

“I’d like to point out the significant seizure of 18 kilograms of methamphetamine in front of me today,” said Insp. Elton Hall, commander of organized crime, at a news conference on Wednesday where the items seized were on display.

“This is a highly addictive and dangerous drug, which has plunged individuals and the health-care system into crisis.”

He added this meth seizure is probably just the “tip of the iceberg.”

“Depending on a drug network or a criminal organization, every 10 to 14 days generally drug traffickers will come in and for lack of better words ‘reload,’” he explained.

“So this is a significant seizure for police and the people in Winnipeg. This is a large amount of methamphetamine. There are other drug networks out there that are trafficking in Winnipeg as well. But, for this particular individual or group, this is significant.”

Hall noted the drugs seized by police were being trafficked.

“One of the individuals involved here brought these drugs into the city and is solely responsible for the drugs you see on the table and the weapons you see on the table,” he alleged.

 Four people from Winnipeg were charged with a total of 109 offences. None of the charges have been proven in court.

  • Jonathan Alexander Herntier, 37, is charged with 46 drug, firearms, and assault-related offences;
  • Joseph Liew, 36, is charged with 35 drug and firearm-related offences;
  • Laura Jeanne Powell, 26, is charged with 16 drug and firearm-related offences;
  • Sherry Ann Kelly Lagimodiere, 31, is charged with 12 drug and firearm-related offences.

All four suspects were taken into custody.

Hall would not comment on whether the suspects were involved in a gang. However, he said, “Just about everybody in Canada and everybody in Winnipeg do not have access to this type of weaponry or the amount of drugs you see on the table today. This is generally reserved for people in a drug trade or who are in gangs or organized crime groups or drug networks.”