The first thing Greater Sudbury Police noticed was more fentanyl showing up on local people in their arrests.
“Then we noticed there were more people being arrested with Southern Ontario addresses,” Insp. Dan Despatie said Friday.
Something wasn’t adding up.
One phone call to Toronto Police and not only did it become crystal clear what was happening but Sudbury police were suddenly up to their neck in what we now know to be Project Kronic.
They were worked closely with up to 16 police services and with York Regional Police Insp, Henry deRuiter and OPP Det. Insp. Bill Klym, who were on hand for Friday’s news conference at Police Headquarters in Toronto.
Toronto Police Inspector Peter Moreira pointed out the Driftwood Crips gang and its hierarchy had reaches “far beyond our city’s borders” and no one knows that more than deRuiter, Klym and Despatie, who saw an increase in violence, guns, overdoses and robberies in their jurisdictions.
The guns and drugs may have been emanating from Driftwood but they were ending up everywhere.
“Like many businesses, they were looking to expand. But this was illegal business,” said Despatie. “Sudbury is a lucrative market for the gangs to expand to.”
And expand they did. In fact Thursday’s takedown netted a significant amount of contraband in Sudbury.
While the street value of fentanyl patches seized in Toronto was $38,600, the dollar figure of $86,850 worth of the narcotic patches seized in Sudbury was more than double. The fentanyl pill dollar amount in Toronto was $15,520 and in Sudbury it was $23,280.
None of this surprised Despatie.
“Sudbury is not very far away when you think about it and not very hard to get to,” Despatie said. “Its straight up the Hwy. 400 and you can get there in under four hours.”
Seems members of the Driftwood Crips found that out and allegedly set up shop there.
“It was like a cell or a branch office,” he said.
Thanks to Project Kronic, the office is now closed.