Mayor Rob Ford’s friend and occasional driver Alexander Lisi’s alleged attempt to swap drugs in exchange for a stolen cellphone helped start a drug trafficking investigation, according to a report from the Toronto Star.
The newspaper says that event launched Project Brazen 2, a division the guns and gangs investigation labelled Project Traveller which lead to numerous arrests in June.
Lisi and Jamshid Bahrami, 47, were arrested during a raid in Etobicoke on Oct. 1. Lisi was charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence. Bahrami was charged with possession of cocaine, three counts of trafficking marijuana and conspiracy to commit an indictable offence.
The Star says Lisi initially caught the attention of police back in March when he offered marijuana in exchange for the phone. It is not known if the phone was recovered.
Although it has not been confirmed who the missing cellphone belonged to, the Star reports that the mayor’s phone went missing around the same time. Star sources say the mayor did get his phone back.
Both the mayor’s office and police were not immediately available for comment.
680News reporter Jaime Pulfer spoke to the Star’s Kevin Donovan on Tuesday morning, who said the paper is still investigating.
“A key thing that we’re trying to obtain is a much larger document that relates to the arrest of Mr. Lisi last week. It’s a document that we believe will shed a lot of light on it,” he said.
With files from CityNews staff