Early this morning members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Greater Toronto Area Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (RCMP GTA CFSEU), with assistance from the policing community throughout Southern Ontario, Quebec and British Colombia conducted raids in Hamilton, York Region, Niagara, Innisfil, Vancouver and Montreal.
GTA CFSEU is a RCMP led Joint Forces Operation which includes officers from the RCMP, Toronto Police Service (TPS), Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Peel Regional Police (PRP), and the York Regional Police (YRP).
GTA CFSEU directly infiltrated Traditional Organized Crime at its highest level and today is the successful culmination of that effort. This investigation, dubbed OTremens, has seen GTA CFSEU, with considerable assistance from the Halton Regional Police Service, Hamilton Police Service and the OPP, charge 9 people with 75 offences including conspiracy to traffic fentanyl and carfentanil, trafficking fentanyl and carfentanil, heroin, conspiracy to import and traffic cocaine, trafficking cocaine, trafficking Methamphetamine, MDMA, MDA, LSD, weapons trafficking and trafficking of contraband tobacco and bookmaking.
This investigation also demonstrated organized crime's ability to corrupt people in positions of public trust to further their criminal enterprise. Erin Maranan, the subject of a 2016 Toronto Police Service investigation into police corruption was charged with 20 counts of breach of trust for database queries. Police believe she made queries on behalf of a criminal organization involving Wojciech Grzesiowski. Maranan's transgressions came to light during Project OTremens and were thoroughly investigated by the TPS Professional Standards.
A partnership with the Ontario Provincial Police led Contraband Tobacco Enforcement Team (CTET) allowed this investigation to demonstrate the strong ties between contraband tobacco and the organized crime community. During this investigation, the CTET seized over 3,000,000 cigarettes, which represents a loss tax revenue in excess of $550,000.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in New York City has been conducting a parallel, but separate investigation into La Cosa Nostra in that city, focusing on members of the Bonanno and Gambino families. Today in New York, several made members and associates of those families have been arrested and charged with cocaine trafficking, loan sharking, extortion, and money laundering. RCMP "O" Division would like to thank the FBI for their cooperation and unwavering support throughout this investigation.
The trafficking of fentanyl and carfentanil are a top priority of the law enforcement community in Canada. Undercover operations during this project saw police purchase 6 kilograms of fentanyl and carfentanil over 6 transactions. These drugs could have been diluted several times, meaning three times the seized drug volume would have been distributed to the streets of the GTA today, if it weren't for the hard work of everyone involved in this project.
RCMP "O" Division would like to thank the following agencies for assisting: OPP, TPS, YRP, PRP, and DRP, South Simcoe PS, Public Prosecution Service of Canada, Minister of the Attorney General Canada, Ministry of Finance and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre (FINTRAC). Key support was also provided by Hamilton Police Service, Halton Regional Police Service, Surete du Quebec, la Service de police de la Ville de Montréal, Canada Border Services Agency, the New York Field office of the FBI, the U.S. District Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Colombian National Police, and Carabinieri ROS and the Polizia di Stato SCO, Italy.
Within the RCMP significant support was received from Serious and Organized Crime Units at Toronto West Detachment and throughout the GTA, British Columbia CFSEU (comprised of members from the RCMP and Vancouver Police Service), Montreal Unité mixte d'enquête sur le crime organisé (UMECO), and RCMP Liaison Officers in Colombia, Mexico, Italy and The Netherlands.
The following subjects have been charged with the following offences:
- DOMENICO PAOLO VIOLI, of Hamilton
- DIMITAR DIMITROV of Stoney Creek
- ADRIANO VALENTINO SCOLIERI of Richmond Hill
- BERNARDO LUKE ROTOLO of Woodbridge
- TRAN GIANG TANG of Markham
- KAM TIM TONG of Markham
- Nicholas VALENTINE of Vaughan
- ANTHONY JAMES ARROYO of Waterloo
- JAMES LINCOLN JABLONSKI of Mississauga
- A CANADA WIDE WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE ARREST OF GIUSEPPE VIOLI of HAMILTON
- A CANADA WIDE WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE ARREST OF MASSIMIGLIANO CARFAGNA of BURLINGTON
- YIN YUN LEONG OF MARKHAM
- A CANADA WIDE WARRANT HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE ARREST OF WITTON LUU OF TORONTO, ON
- A Canada wide warrant is being sought for the arrest of WOJCIECH GRZESIOWKI of Innisfil
- Conspiracy to Import a Controlled Substance, contrary to the Criminal Code
- Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking a Controlled Substance, contrary to the Criminal Code
- Trafficking a Controlled Substance, contrary to the Criminal Code
- Trafficking contraband tobacco, contrary to the Criminal Code
- Trafficking Firearms, contrary to the Criminal Code
- Criminal organization offences including instructing and participating in a Criminal Organization.
"Those who traffic in illicit drugs and participate in other organized crime activities destroy lives and impact the safety and security of our communities, and we will continue to work to eradicate those dangers." said C/Supt. Michael LeSage, Criminal Operations Officer for the "O" Division RCMP. "Project OTREMENS demonstrates how the combined efforts and cooperation of law enforcement agencies and other government departments, here and internationally, can work effectively to combat organized crime."
Law enforcement agencies work diligently to make our communities a safer place to live, however your assistance in remaining vigilant and informing us of any suspicious activities will help us be even more successful. If you have any information about the trafficking of fentanyl or carfentanil, or wish to report other criminality, you can contact your local police, the Ontario RCMP at 1-800-387-0020, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), at any time.