Arrests disrupt several drug trafficking networks

A joint investigation by Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS), in collaboration with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and foreign police agencies has led to charges against eight Greater Toronto Area (GTA) residents.

 The 18-month investigation began with the arrest of two Canadian nationals for importing Fentanyl into Bermuda from Canada. The ensuing Canadian inquiry led to uncovering several criminal networks involved in illicit drug trafficking activities throughout the GTA and the coordinated seizures of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, marihuana, counterfeit US currency, twelve hand guns, ammunition and one hand grenade. Approximately $29,000 Canadian currency was also seized.

On July 18 and 19, coordinated efforts between the RCMP and DRPS led to the arrest of 37-year-old Robert Collins of Bowmanville, charged with exporting fentanyl, conspiracy to export fentanyl, trafficking in fentanyl, conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, trafficking in methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, conspiracy to export methamphetamine, trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, trafficking marihuana, possession of the proceeds of crime, uttering counterfeit US currency and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Thirty-one-year-old Stephanie Legge and 43-year-old Jean Simmons of Mississauga are charged with exporting fentanyl, conspiracy to export fentanyl and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Thirty-nine-year-old Faruk Sebastian Portobanco of Toronto is charged trafficking in fentanyl, conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, trafficking in cocaine, conspiracy to traffic cocaine, possession of the proceeds of crime and multiple gun-related offences.

Twenty-six-year-old Lemar Patrick Burke of Pickering is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, conspiracy to export methamphetamine, trafficking in cocaine and possession of the proceeds of crime.

Forty-nine-year-old Brian Luckman of Brampton is charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, conspiracy to export methamphetamine and possession of the proceeds of crime.

All appeared at the Old City Hall Court House on July 18 and 19 where charges were spoken to.

Thirty-seven-year-old Craig Lawrence of Markham was arrested July 20 and charged with criminal negligence causing bodily harm. He appeared in court July 20 at Old City Hall.

Forty-seven-year-old Desmond Kerr of Brampton has been charged with exporting fentanyl, conspiracy to export fentanyl and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

“Serious and organized crime in Canada is a multi-faceted and borderless problem impacting all Canadians, directly or indirectly,” said Inspector Donna Streeter, Toronto North Serious and Organized Crime Team officer in charge. “Through a variety of specialized programs and teams, the RCMP combats serious and organized crime by implementing intelligence-led police operations with the collaboration of domestic and international partners.”

Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact their local police, the RCMP at 1-800-387-0020 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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