Police from the GTA, Ontario and Canada have busted three meth labs and arrested five men in what they say is the largest-ever cache of meth drugs Ontario has ever seen.
They seized methamphetamine, equipment and chemicals, and dismantled meth production labs in the GTA, Campbellford and Warkworth in late July.
“One site was guarded by a bear trap that had been shrouded in leaves,” OPP Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong said at a news conference in Vaughan Thursday.
“Police seized 120 kilograms of pure methamphetamine, 110,483 meth pills, 14 kilograms of meth powder, five vehicles and $81,000 in cash,” Armstrong said.
The value of the drugs is approximately $5 million, but the street value is likely much higher, he said.
One lab was used to produce raw methamphetamine, while another was used to process the meth into powder and press it into pills. A second pill-pressing lab was dismantled in Aurora and a storage unit in Markham was raided.
“Today’s announcement has taken weeks of legwork by the Asian Organized Crime Task Force (AOCTF) and its partners,” OPP deputy commissioner Scott Tod said at the news conference.
Illegal drugs and clandestine labs are consistently among highest priorities for police, he said, pointing to the drug’s by-products.
“The production of one pound of methamphetamine creates six pounds of chemical waste,” Tod said, and that waste is likely not disposed of properly.
Officers, including Toronto Police, Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), York Regional Police, Peel Regional Police and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), were all involved in the case.
The volume of drugs was so large it was likely destined for outside of Canada, where there is a larger market.
The Ontario Ministry of the Environment and OPP Drug Enforcement Unit were also involved.
Officials tested water samples from Warkwork, because the lab was close to a local water treatment plant, but the ministry did not have any concerns for the environment or drinking water.
Seven search warrants were executed in the GTA and two search warrants were carried out in the Campbellford and Warkworth areas.
Five people were charged with drug-related offenses, and two of those have been charged with setting a trap with intent to cause harm. They were scheduled to appear in an Oshawa court on Thursday.
Jimmy Sut Jhing Ng, 55, of Cambellford, was charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, production of a controlled substance, six counts of trafficking in a controlled substance and setting a trap with intent to cause bodily harm.
Sui Yuan Zhao, 39, of Campbellford, was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, production of a controlled substance and setting a trap with intent to cause bodily harm.
Kok King Chao, 49, of Aurora, was charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, production of a controlled substance and trafficking in a controlled substance.
Joey Sui Hung Mo, 45, of Aurora, is charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and production of a controlled substance.
Chun Kit Wong, 28, of Markham, was charged with possession of items used in the production of methamphetamine.