Toronto police say they have seized 551 kilograms of cocaine and 441 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in a drug bust they describe as the largest in the force's history.
Seven people, of the Greater Toronto Area, have been arrested and charged in connection with the illicit drugs, according to Supt. Steve Watts of the organized crime enforcement drug squad. Two of the accused are still in custody, he said, while five have received bail.
"The drugs were destined for the streets of Toronto and beyond and would have inflicted significant damage on our communities," Watts told reporters. "Intercepting the flow of these drugs has prevented many overdose deaths."
The seizure and arrests were part of an investigation dubbed "Project Finito" that looked into the importation and distribution of illicit drugs in the GTA.
Police displayed the cocaine and the crystal meth at a news conference at police headquarters on Friday. Deputy Chief Rob Johnson said the amount of drugs seized is "staggering." The cocaine was in bricks, while the crystal meth was in bags.
On Friday, Toronto police displayed the results of a major drug bust in the GTA as part of 'Project Finito.' (Robert Krbavac/CBC)
Watts said police suspect the drugs came across the border from the U.S. Police also seized a firearm, a motor vehicle and $95,100 in Canadian currency.
He said police executed nine search warrants at residences, businesses and vehicles over the summer and until late October as part of the investigation.
"We're often asked: 'Does this make a difference? I can tell you that this absolutely makes a difference. This amount of controlled substances taken off — it created a market fluctuation in Ontario, in essence the price of cocaine going up significantly because of this seizure," he said.
In a news release on Friday, police said: "It is alleged that the arrested individuals form part of a sophisticated network involved in the distribution of large volumes of cocaine and crystal methamphetamine in the GTA."
The seven alleged offenders from Ajax, Toronto and Mississauga range in age from 20 to 43, and have been charged with 30 offences combined.