Carleton Place resident among 6 charged in significant drug bust

Items seized by police during a recent drug bust in Ottawa, Carleton Place, Thunder Bay and Gatineau. – OPP photo

A significant crackdown on a criminal network allegedly trafficking illicit drugs and firearms across Ontario’s Ottawa and Thunder Bay areas culminated in the arrest of six individuals charged with a total of 42 offences under the Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

In a news release, police state that this enforcement operation, led by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)-led Joint Forces Guns and Gangs Enforcement Team (PGNG), concluded the extensive investigation code named Project ALLOY.

Initiated in July, Project ALLOY was sparked by intelligence pointing to the trafficking of crystal methamphetamine, cocaine, and other illicit substances within the targeted regions. The investigation gained momentum, culminating in a series of coordinated actions on Nov. 9. Law enforcement officers executed nine search warrants across Ottawa, Carleton Place, Thunder Bay, and Gatineau, yielding a significant haul of illegal drugs, firearms, and related property with an estimated value of around $200,000.

The seized items included:

  • Over 2.6 kilograms of suspected crystal methamphetamine
  • More than 1.2 kilograms of suspected cocaine
  • 6,898 suspected methamphetamine tablets
  • 175 suspected hydromorphone pills
  • Five suspected ecstasy pills (MDMA)
  • 2.4 grams of suspected crack cocaine
  • Nine firearms, including a loaded shotgun and handguns
  • A crossbow and prohibited weapon (brass knuckles)
  • Ammunition, magazines, and drug paraphernalia
  • Various quantities of prescription drugs such as oxycodone and methamphetamine
  • Property obtained through criminal activity
  • Significant amounts of both Canadian and U.S. currency
  • Two vehicles, including a stolen Ford pickup truck
  • Eleven cell phones

Those charged include Tia Vong, 31, of Ottawa; Anthony Macdonald, 40, of Ottawa; Albert Russell, 40, of Gatineau; Andrew Godard, 35, of Ottawa; Nicholas Freda, 32, of Carleton Place; and Robert Cunliffe, 46, of Ottawa.

Charges have not been proven in court.

Items seized by police during a recent drug bust in Ottawa, Carleton Place, Thunder Bay and Gatineau. – OPP photo

The success of this operation was attributed to the collaborative effort involving various law enforcement agencies and specialized units within the OPP. Partners including the Ottawa Police Service, Sûreté du Quebec, Service de Police de la Ville de Gatineau, and Thunder Bay Police Service played pivotal roles in supporting the investigation.

Detective Inspector Lee Fulford of the OPP emphasized the critical impact of such operations, stating, “Drug trafficking and the resulting violence is claiming lives at unprecedented levels, and this is especially true in our remote and northern communities.” Fulford praised the dedication of law enforcement in upholding the law and safeguarding communities against the dangers posed by criminal drug trafficking and the possession of firearms.

The investigation remains ongoing, with authorities encouraging anyone with pertinent information about illicit drug possession, manufacturing, or trafficking, as well as illegal firearms, to come forward and assist law enforcement.

The OPP-led PGNG remains committed to disrupting criminal street gang activity, intelligence-led investigations, and reducing the proliferation of illegal firearms across Ontario. Citizens can report information to the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or ontariocrimestoppers.ca.

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