Police dismantle far-reaching alleged Toronto gang, arrest more than 100 people

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Toronto police say 31 weapons were seized by officers executing warrants across Ontario as part of Project Sunder. (Toronto Police Service)
Toronto police say 31 weapons were seized by officers executing warrants across Ontario as part of Project Sunder. (Toronto Police Service)

TORONTO — A year-long investigation that began as a probe into an alleged Toronto gang has led to more than 100 arrests across Ontario for crimes that include murder, drug trafficking and firearms offences, police said Thursday.

Toronto police said the operation — dubbed Project Sunder — dismantled the Eglinton West Crips, which was allegedly involved in criminal activity as far as Thunder Bay, Ont.

"The Eglinton West Crips were involved in extensive gun and drug trafficking networks that span the province of Ontario," said Toronto police Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw.

"These networks are alleged to have trafficked large quantities of narcotics, specifically cocaine and fentanyl, to many communities outside of the Greater Toronto Area."

Police said they had made 114 arrests and expected about 800 criminal charges to be laid in the ongoing investigation that began in September 2019.

While Toronto police led the probe, the investigation also involved forces in Waterloo, York Region, Peel Region, Durham Region, Thunder Bay, and the provincial police.

Chief Supt. Paul Mackey of the Ontario Provincial Police said that collaboration between so many forces was necessary to combat a criminal organization of this size.

"This particular investigation clearly demonstrates how GTA-based street gangs have influence across Ontario, from Ottawa to Thunder Bay and many places in between," he said.

"No community is immune. Criminals do not respect jurisdictional boundaries."

Police said that officers carried out 141 search warrants over several months.

A total of 31 firearms were seized, along with seven kilograms of cocaine, two kilograms of fentanyl, two kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and other street drugs, as well as $300,000 in currency.

Deputy Chief Brian Bigras of the York Regional Police said that the size of the seizures was indicative of how widespread and dangerous the alleged gang was.

"Project Sunder stopped a criminal group in their tracks, a criminal group that clearly had tentacles that spread across the province of Ontario," said

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2020.

John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press