More than 1,000 charges laid against 75 suspects in 'Project Patton' raids
Ben Cousins, CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Friday, June 22, 2018 8:12AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 22, 2018 12:42PM EDT
Toronto police say an organized crime blitz has resulted in the arrests of 75 people, including some of the highest-ranking members of the Toronto-area street gang known as the “Five Point Generalz.”
More than 800 officers conducted 53 search warrants on Thursday morning as part of “Project Patton,” a nine-month investigation into the alleged street gang, which police describe as a criminal organization. The raids resulted in 75 arrests and more than 1,000 firearm, drug and gang-related charges.
Among the 75 suspects are nine women, two youth and 68 people with a prior criminal record.
“The individuals arrested in this operation are not simply kids being exploited by gang members, nor are they addicts being used to support their addictions, they are organized criminals,” Donald Belanger, acting inspector of the Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force, told reporters at a press conference Friday.
“We are confident that we have arrested the highest-ranking members of the organization.”
Police say 78 firearms worth roughly $200,000 on the streets were seized as part of the raids, including 60 at one address alone, which they described as the largest single seizure of guns in Toronto history.
“There is no doubt in the minds of investigators that these guns were destined for the streets of Toronto and the GTA to be used and sold by members of the Five Point Generalz,” he said.
Deputy Police Chief Jim Ramer said at one of the raids, officers found a handgun manufacturing operation with a drill press and enough parts to make four additional guns.
Officers also found quantities of cocaine, fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin and marijuana worth an estimated $1.2 million and $184,000 in cash police believe was generated through illegal activity.
Additionally, police have seized more than 200 “digital devices,” used for communication, Belanger said.
“The removal of such a significant number of violent individuals from our communities will be very positive for the law-abiding community members who have been forced to live amongst individuals who are believed to be gunmen and drug dealers,” Ramer said.
“I’m confident that Project Patton will result in the incarceration of numerous violent gang members and that it has the direct and positive impact on community safety.”
Belanger said Project Patton began with intelligence that the Five Point Generalz were involved in numerous murders and attempted murders in the Greater Toronto Area, but he would not disclose which cases the gangs members are alleged to have been involved with.
Deputy Chief Jim Ramer @TPSDeputyRamer updates the media on #ProjectPatton takedown results. Excellent, collaborative work by @TorontoPolice and 12 other Southern Ontario police services that participated in the takedown! pic.twitter.com/kpPcrR78CG— Kelly Skinner (@TPSKellySkinner) June 22, 2018