Drug importation network dismantled

June 30, 2017
Etobicoke, Ontario

News release

Images

Drug Importation Network Dismantled

A 16 month joint investigation by the Royal Canadian Mounted (RCMP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Peel Regional Police (PRP), Toronto Police Service (TPS), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), York Regional Police (YRP), Halton Regional Police (HRP) and the Jamaican Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) into the importation and trafficking of cocaine was concluded today which resulted in the arrests of 7 individuals from within the GTA and the surrounding area. These individuals were involved in the importation and subsequent distribution of cocaine. As a result of this enforcement action, 7 search warrants were simultaneously executed at residences within the GTA and surrounding area. These events took place in the early hours of June 29, 2017, with approximately 170 officers from police services in and surrounding the GTA.

In February 2016, the RCMP Toronto Airport Detachment Serious and Organized Crime Unit commenced an investigation into the importation of 90 kg of cocaine into Canada from Panama City, Panama. Based on information received from MOCA, an investigation was launched and the evidence gathered revealed a criminal group moving large amounts of cocaine from various drug source countries into Canada. During the course of the investigation, police learned that this criminal group imported and trafficked cocaine using several different sophisticated techniques and concealment methods which enabled the cocaine shipments to cross international borders undetected.

On Thursday, June 29th, the RCMP along with members of PRP, TPS, OPP, YRP, HRP, and CBSA executed 7 arrest warrants and conducted simultaneous searches at 7 different search sites in the GTA and surrounding area. The following persons have been charged with various crimes related to the conspiracy under the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC); as well as importation and trafficking of cocaine under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).

Arrested and charged are:

Mark CHODKIEWICZ (age 35) of Mississauga, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x3)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x1)
  • Traffic Cocaine, CDSA (x1)
  • Possession of Proceeds of Crime, CCC (x1)

Garren BROWN (age 39) of North York, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x1)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x2)
  • Traffic Cocaine, CDSA (x1)
  • Possession of Proceeds of Crime, CCC (x1)

Donovan BROWN (age 46) of Oakville, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x4)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x1)
  • Traffic Cocaine, CDSA (x1)
  • Possession of Proceeds of Crime, CCC (x1)

Wayne BLACKWOOD (age 51) of Toronto, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x1)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x3)

Devon McLEAN (age 48) of North York, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x2)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x3)

Brian STEWART (age 38) of Brampton, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x3)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x2)

Damian ROSE (age 37) of Brampton, Ontario with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Import Cocaine, CCC (x2)
  • Import Cocaine, CDSA (x1)

Inspector Orest HNATYKIW of the RCMP Toronto Airport Detachment stated, "The result of this investigation demonstrates how the RCMP and its partner agencies work effectively together to combat the activities of organized crime and keep illicit drugs out of our communities."

This sophisticated drug importation network was dismantled with the ongoing collaboration of all our national and international law enforcement partners. This has prevented significant amounts of illegal drugs from entering the North American illicit drug market.

The RCMP would like to express appreciation to the partner law enforcement agencies of Peel Regional Police (PRP), Toronto Police Service (TPS), Ontario Provincial Police, York Regional Police (YRP), Halton Regional Police (HRP), Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Jamaican Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) for their invaluable assistance in bringing a successful resolution to this matter.

The RCMP would also like to thank the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) for its collaboration in this investigation.

All of the accused subjects will be transported to the Brampton Court House on June 29, 2017 for a bail hearing.

–30–

Contact information

Sgt Penny HERMANN
RCMP Media Relations
RCMP "O" Division
905-876-9571

Facebook: RCMP.Ontario
YouTube: RCMPGRCPOLICE
Website: RCMP in Ontario
Twitter: @RCMPONT

Date modified: