9 Month Investigation Leads to Massive Drug Bust

Manitoba Post StaffNews

WINNIPEG – A massive drug bust, led by the Winnipeg Police with assistance from many other agencies has led to the seizure of more than $1.5 million of drugs and the arrest of ten individuals.

The investigation into the sophisticated interprovincial organized crime network began almost nine months ago and involved the transportation of multiple kilograms of cocaine, opioids, and significant amounts of illegal cannabis and tobacco from Southern Ontario into the City of Winnipeg.

The investigation grew, leading to the Winnipeg Police Service Organized Crime Unit, in collaboration with the Ontario Provincial Police, and the Province of Manitoba Finance and Taxation, to initiate Project Highland.

On December 18, 2019, eight search warrants were simultaneously executed in the City of Winnipeg, rural Manitoba, and the Province of Ontario.

As a result of the search warrants, ten adults were arrested and charged with 34 criminal code offences related to conspiracy and trafficking of a controlled substance, proceeds of crime, unlawful possession of cannabis, posses not Manitoba marked Tobacco.

9 Month Investigation Leads to Massive Drug Bust

The following items were seized:

Approximately $120,000.00 cash

13 kilograms of cocaine

Street value of $1.3 million

Bulk value of $800,000.00

45 lbs of illegal cannabis

Bulk value of $ 126,000

Street value of $ 190,680

21 bags of cannabis edibles – gummies

Street value of $1,050

246 cases of cigarettes

2.46 million individual cigarettes

Lost tax value of $739,326

Potential triple tax penalty $2,217,978

Street value of $492,884

Bulk value of $147,600

824 alprazolam (xanax) bars

Street value of $4,120

362 grams of ecstasy (MDMA)

Street value of $14,480

370 grams of psilocybin (mushrooms)

Street value of $7,400

185 grams benzocaine (cutting agent)

Street value of $1,320

Three digital money counters

Scales, score sheets, drug packaging material, and vacuum sealing equipment

Cannabis extraction press

17 mobile communication devices

400 rounds of 22 caliber ammunition

57 rounds of 726 caliber ammunition

2017 Jaguar FPACE R-Sport 35T (approx. value $50,000)

2015 Lexus NX 200T (approx.. value $30,000)

2011 Mitsubishi Outlander XLS (approx. value $10,000)

2019 Ford F150 (approx. value $45,000)

2014 Dodge Ram 1500 with hidden compartment (approx. value $25,000)

2007 Great 741 30 ft. enclosed trailer (approx. value $15,000)

32 year-old Stephen Pierpoint of Aurora, Ontario, 34 year-old Curtis Hibbert of Winnipeg, 25 year-old Samantha Gunn of Winnipeg, 24 year-old Darryan Edwards of Winnipeg, 37 year-old Safa Allen of Winnipeg, 37 year-old Laura Lippai of Winnipeg, 34 year-old Jeremy Ritchot, 34 year-old Rajvathanan Rajasekaran of Calgary, 31 year-old Sinthusan Shanmuganathan of Whitby, and 36 year-old Vinothan Uthayakumarhas all face multiple drug-trafficking charges.