RCMP NL's Project Broken, an organized crime investigation by the RCMP NL Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit that began in May of 2017, has come to a successful conclusion with convictions rendered against five of six individuals charged. On March 9, 2022, Nick Travis, the last of the accused before the court, plead guilty to possession for the purpose of trafficking and was sentenced to 30 months in jail.
Project Broken focused on an organized crime group based in the St. John's Metro area that consisted of six individuals and their inter-provincial drug trafficking network, which was responsible for the importation of large volumes of cocaine into the province and the laundering of monies associated with its operation. The investigation led to the largest single seizure of illicit cash by police in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador, over $840,000, with other items seized including six kilograms of cocaine, firearms and vehicles. The total value of all items seized, including cash, is approximately $1.4 million. The RCMP NL investigation was supported by the RCMP Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit in Montreal, RCMP Alberta, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Correctional Services Canada, Canada Border Services Agency, the Canada Revenue Agency and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.
Others convicted during this operation:
- Tom Brown (age 34) of Torbay– convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and was sentenced on July 22, 2020, to 44 months in jail. He received a firearms prohibition and a forfeiture of all items seized, including his Infiniti vehicle.
- Michael Smith (age 31) who was incarcerated in Quebec at the time of this investigation– convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine and possession of proceeds of crime on November 27, 2020, and was sentenced to a jail term of 7 years. He received a firearms prohibition.
- Jon Mahon of Torbay (age 30) - convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession of a firearm/prohibited weapon knowing its possession is prohibited, possession of a firearm with a tampered serial number, unsafe storage of a firearm, two counts of money laundering and possession of proceeds of crime. He was sentenced on December 10, 2020, to 7.5 years in jail. He received a firearms prohibition and a forfeiture of all items seized, including high-end jewellery, designer clothing and a Mercedes vehicle. In addition, a fine in lieu of forfeiture, issued for intangible items unable to be seized, in the amount of $196,255 was imposed.
- Charlotte Toomey (age 31) who resided in Montreal, Quebec at the time of this investigation– convicted of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession of LSD, money laundering, and possession of proceeds of crime. She was sentenced on June 9, 2021, in Quebec to 30 months in jail. She received a firearms prohibition and a forfeiture of all items seized, including $843,530 in cash. In addition, a fine in lieu of forfeiture, issued for intangible items unable to be seized, in the amount of $194,846.87 was imposed.
A sixth individual, who was charged with money laundering, was acquitted following a trial that took place in the fall of 2021.
RCMP NL is proud of all who worked diligently towards the successful outcome of Project Broken, including our law enforcement partners and, most especially, the police officers from the RCMP NL Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit.
This unit targets criminal activity involving national security, transnational and serious organized crime and cybercrime throughout the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador.