Drug ring run from Thunder Bay jail – The Chronicle Journal

From left, OPP Insp. John Kendrick; RCMP Staff Sgt. Normand Roy; Thunder Bay Police Chief J.P. Levesque; OPP Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong; Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Chief Claude Chum; Patty Hajdu of the City of Thunder Bay Drug Strategy; and Anishinabek Police Service Sgt. Derek Johnson discuss Project Harrington in Thunder Bay Wednesday. The major drug bust incorporated the efforts of several Ontario police services. (Sandi Krasowski)

From left, OPP Insp. John Kendrick; RCMP Staff Sgt. Normand Roy; Thunder Bay Police Chief J.P. Levesque; OPP Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong; Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service Chief Claude Chum; Patty Hajdu of the City of Thunder Bay Drug Strategy; and Anishinabek Police Service Sgt. Derek Johnson discuss Project Harrington in Thunder Bay Wednesday. The major drug bust incorporated the efforts of several Ontario police services. (Sandi Krasowski)

A prescription drug trafficking ring police say was run by a Thunder Bay jail inmate funnelled narcotics and other drugs from southern Ontario to remote aboriginal communities, selling them to residents at hugely inflated prices, police said Wednesday.

Ontario Provincial Police say they have dismantled a lucrative scheme to illegally supply Northern First Nations with the highly addictive painkiller oxycodone.

The drug bust netted more than 2,000 pills, nearly one kilogram of marijuana and half a kilogram of cocaine. An unspecified amount of cash was also seized. Police pegged the value of the drugs at $1.13 million.

“The value of the drugs increased exponentially when they brought them north,” OPP Chief Supt. Mike Armstrong said Wednesday.
“Drug abuse is an issue across the province. These guys recognized a gap and decided to exploit it. They were taking the supplies that would normally be spread across the province and trying to just divert them all up here.”

Armstrong, who is also commander of the force’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, said he believes the drugs were being sold at eight to 10 times their value in these communities because of the low supply.
Investigators say the drugs were being smuggled into fly-in First Nations communities for the past two years. One of the most recent seizures resulted in drugs being discovered on a plane at the Thunder Bay airport, said Armstrong.

He added that the supply of the painkiller has “dried up” since that seizure.

Eleven people, including a jail employee, have been charged with 96 offences after a six-month joint investigation involving OPP, RCMP, Thunder Bay Police Service, Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service and Anishinabek Police Service. Toronto, Peel Regional and Waterloo Regional police services also played a role in the case.

Seven of the suspects are in police custody while warrants have been issued for the four others.
Police say the operation, dubbed Project Harrington, was being orchestrated by Jabir Khan, a 39-year-old inmate in the Thunder Bay jail. Armstrong said Khan is in jail for an unrelated matter.

Other arrests were made in Toronto, Mississauga, Kitchener and Waterloo.

The accused range in age from 20 to 71 years old.
The charges include directing or participating in a criminal organization; trafficking and/or conspiracy to traffic; and breach of probation.
A Thunder Bay District Jail employee is charged with breach of trust.
Nine Controlled Drug and Substances Act search warrants were executed in the Greater Toronto Area, Mississauga, Kitchener-Waterloo and Thunder Bay, including at the Thunder Bay District Jail.

Charges were laid against:
• Jolene Shimkoff, 33, Thunder Bay: Committing to a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic and trafficking in oxycodone and cocaine, breach of probation.
• Preston Thompson, 23, Thunder Bay: Committing to a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone and cocaine, trafficking oxycodone.
• Neil Thompson, 30, Thunder Bay: Committing to a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone and cocaine, trafficking oxycodone.
• Justin Morrison, 28, Weagamow Lake First Nation: Conspiracy to traffic and trafficking in oxycodone, breach of probation.
• Dan Schiebler, 32, Thunder Bay: Breach of trust, committing to a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone.
• Candice Storozuk, 29, Thunder Bay: Trafficking oxycodone.
• Rashad Waquad, 71, Mississauga: Participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic, trafficking in oxycodone and cocaine.
• Zahed Khan, 20, Toronto: Participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, marijuana and cocaine, trafficking in oxycodone.
• Jabir Khan, 39, Thunder Bay: Directing and participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, marijuana and cocaine, trafficking in oxycodone and cocaine.
• Brandie Mosher, 35, Toronto: Directing and participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, marijuana and cocaine, trafficking in oxycodone and cocaine, breach of probation.
• Justin Cain, 25, Toronto: Participating in a criminal organization, conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, marijuana and cocaine, trafficking in oxycodone.

Morrison, Neil Thompson, Preston Thompson and Cain remain at large and subject to outstanding arrest warrants.

Original post:
Drug ring run from jail – The Chronicle Journal

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