Meth bust: $40-million seizure one of the largest in Ontario history

Police executed warrants throughout Southern Ontario, including Markham, Aurora and Northumberland County.

By: Arshy Mann Staff Reporter, Published on Thu Sep 05 2013

In one of the largest drug busts in Ontario history, police have seized millions of dollars of methamphetamine and uncovered a complex drug manufacturing operation that snaked through Southern Ontario.

In late July, police officers executed seven warrants in the GTA and two in Northumberland County, seizing over 120 kilograms of pure methamphetamine, 14 kilograms of meth powder, 110,483 meth pills, 3,400 kilograms of chemicals and $81,000 in cash. Police estimate that the drugs have a street value of around $40 million.

Five people were charged with various drug crimes. At a press conference in Vaughan on Thursday, police described a complex criminal enterprise that operated through Southern Ontario.

The chemicals necessary for making methamphetamine were kept in a storage locker in Markham. They were then transported to a lab in Warkworth, which police have called one of the largest meth labs ever discovered in Ontario.

Once the raw methamphetamine was manufactured, police said, it was taken to two labs, one in Campbellford and one in Aurora, and pressed into pills for distribution. Police found bear traps shrouded in leaves guarding the Campbellford lab.

The enormity of the operation has led police to believe that the drugs were intended for international markets. “When you have this big a volume of drugs, this isn’t that big a market,” said OPP Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong.

Two Aurora men, aged 45 and 49, have been charged with possession and production of a controlled substance. A 28-year-old from Markham is accused of possession of items used in meth production and two Campbellford men, 39 and 55, are charged with trafficking in a controlled substance and setting a booby trap.

Armstrong criticized Canada’s lax laws regarding the chemicals required to make meth. “The chemicals and materials themselves are not necessarily illegal to import,” he said, adding that international police forces “are very concerned by the large scale labs here in Canada.”

The investigation was led by the OPP’s Asian Organized Crime Taskforce, which worked with Toronto, York and Peel police, the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency and the Ontario environment ministry. history.html