London Community News
By Paul Everest/London Community News/Twitter: @PaulEverest1
A nine-month investigation which wrapped up early Tuesday (July 31) has dealt a “significant” blow to the London drug trade, police said.
Project O-Bunker, which was launched in November and targeted mid- to high-level drug traffickers, culminated in the arrests of 12 people in London, including a man who has been on London police’s most wanted list for two years, and the seizure of thousands of dollars worth of cocaine, oxycodone and other drugs as well as weapons, vehicles and cash.
At a media conference Tuesday afternoon, London Police Service Deputy Chief Brent Shea and Staff Sgt. Steve Arthur of the RCMP’s drug section told reporters the operation was largely aimed at the cocaine trade in the city.
“This project was heavily focused at cocaine, which is a major product in the city and this is a significant impact on the trade of cocaine within our city,” Shea said, adding next to marijuana, cocaine is the most used drug in London.
He said 110 officers from the London police, the RCMP and the OPP spanned across the city at roughly 4:30 a.m. and executed search warrants at addresses on Trossacks Avenue, Fleming Drive, Marigold Street, Huron Street, Cardigan Avenue and Hastings Drive.
On top of the dozen people arrested Tuesday, police have arrested 25 other people since May as part of the project.
The charges the suspects face include possessing and trafficking of drugs, possessing a prohibited firearm, possessing a loaded regulated firearm, possessing a restricted firearm without a licence, storing a firearm carelessly and possessing property over $5,000 obtained by crime.
Shea wouldn’t go so far as to label the group of people arrested as members of organized crime but did say there is “interconnection” among some of the suspects.
In total, 47 Criminal Code charges and 82 Controlled Drugs and Substances Act charges have been laid as a result of the operation.
In addition, the following items were seized by police during the project:
•1,730.2 grams of cocaine valued at $172,940;
• 90.3 grams of marijuana valued at $900;
• 29.6 grams of hashish valued at $500;
• 604 grams of cannabis resin valued at $12,080;
• 6.2 grams of Psilocybin valued at $92;
• 454 oxycodone pills valued at $15,770;
• $72,608 in cash;
• Four firearms, including three handguns—two .38 calibre revolvers and a .25 calibre semi-automatic pistol— and one sawed-off shotgun;
• 50 rounds of .38 calibre ammunition;
• Three rounds of .9 millimetre ammunition;
• one .25 calibre bullet;
• Bullet-proof vest;
• Butterfly knife;
• and five vehicles including an SUV, a motorcycle and high-end sedans.
The following people from London were arrested:
Bewar Abdullah, 27 (on the London Police Service’s most-wanted list for two years)
Bahzad Abdullah, 21
Estifanos Tsegaye, 27
Randy Jackson, 30
Khanh Pham, 27
Visar Mehmeti, 22
Than David Tran, 25
Brian Hallaert, 35
George Grant, 50
Adam Grant, 24
Siobhan Deeley-Sheridan, 21
Allysha Toth, 22
Shawn Penner, 23
Michael Lopez Restrepo, 30
Christian Lopez Restrepo, 24
Julian Aristizabal, 32
Samnang Chhorn, 27
Nikolas Rogers, 24
Carolyn Rogers, 55
Kristian Rogers, 26
Summer Freeman, 28
Sebastien Toro-Bernal, 22
Mohammad Elyas Farooqi, 24
Ahmed Nazzali, 22
Michael Horton, 41
Elise Seaman, 49
Senai Mesghina, 25
Malik Tekle, 25
Yonas Ghebre, 25
Ashlee Arsenault, 28
Serguei Khvoinov, 25
Olga Starodub, 24
Henry Gnov, 22
Janson Gnov, 25
Also charged were Ty Hoang, 18, and Dung Tran, 18, of Brampton and a 17-year-old from Brantford.
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