Project Sunder Dismantles Eglinton West Crips
114 Arrests, 800 Criminal Charges,
Broadcast time: 13:05
Date: Thursday, October 29, 2020
Unit: Organized Crime Enforcement
The Toronto Police Service, with the cooperation of the Ontario Provincial Police, Waterloo, York, Peel, Durham Region Police Services and the Thunder Bay Police Service, has dismantled a violent street gang and laid hundreds of criminal charges in a province-wide gun, gang, drug and human trafficking investigation.
Known as Project Sunder, this year-long intelligence-led operation, targeted over 100 individuals alleged to be responsible for crimes such as murder, attempt murder, firearms offences, drug trafficking and human trafficking in areas from Toronto to Thunder Bay.
"What started as a local investigation into a dangerous street gang known as the Eglinton West Crips turned into a complex, multi-jurisdictional project involving arrests in 15 different cities," said Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw. "Thanks to the cooperation of these other police services, we have been successful in dismantling this criminal organization and taking guns and drugs off the streets of many communities."
Once the Project is complete, it is anticipated more than 114 people will face approximately 800 charges, including offences related to participating in a criminal organization, firearms offences including shootings, and drug trafficking and possession.
Over several months, 141 search warrants were executed and as a result the following seizures were made:
- 31 firearms, including four over-capacity magazines
- 7 kilograms of cocaine
- 2 kilograms of fentanyl
- 2 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine
- Other drugs including heroin, oxycodone, percocets, and MDMA
- Over $300,000 in Canadian currency
Photographs of the seized firearms can be found here.
For a statistical summary of Project Sunder results, please click here.
The following jurisdictions played an active role in Project Sunder:
- Ontario Provincial Police (Orillia, Gravenhurst, North Bay, Napanee)
- York Region
- Peel Region
- Halton Region
- Durham Region
- Sault Ste. Marie
- Thunder Bay
Quotes from Participating Police Services
"The Durham Regional Police Service proudly stands with our GTA partner agencies in combatting the gang and gun violence occurring throughout our communities. These criminal organizations frequently conduct their operations over multi-jurisdictional boundaries. Successful operations like Project Sunder can only be achieved when we collaborate and combine our partner agency forces with one common goal - community safety," said Superintendent Cyril Gillis, Serious and Organized Crime, Durham Regional Police.
"Violent criminal activity knows no geographical boundaries," said Waterloo Regional Police Service Deputy Chief Shirley Hilton. "The number of weapons and drugs seized during this joint investigation should be concerning to all communities and demonstrates the commitment from Ontario police services to disrupt illegal trafficking, gun and gang violence in our province. We will continue to combat such violent crime and ensure individuals responsible are brought to justice."
"Urban-based organized crime groups are increasing in sophistication and have developed province-wide criminal networks from Ottawa to Thunder Bay and in most places in between. The success of this investigation is a testament to how effectively police work together. No community is immune – criminals do not respect jurisdictional boundaries, and as law enforcement we consistently adapt our investigative techniques to mitigate this," said OPP Chief Superintendent Paul Mackey, Bureau Commander, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau.
"Project Sunder stopped this criminal group, which had tentacles across the province, from continuing their crimes which impact and threaten the health, well being and safety of citizens," said Brian Bigras, Deputy Chief of Investigations for York Regional Police Service. "This project sends a strong message to all criminal groups that York Regional Police and our law enforcement partners will take all necessary actions to ensure that they are held to criminal account."
"Project Sunder represents an important piece to an effective police strategy to reduce violence and injury in our communities. Gun, gang, and drug activities carry rippling consequences for our communities without consideration to jurisdictional boundaries. The violence it produces is becoming far too common. To effectively mitigate that risk it is important that our services work collaboratively with one another. The outcome of Project Sunder is a demonstration of the value of that collaboration," said Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich, Peel Regional Police.
For more information about Project Sunder, please contact Media Relations with the respective services listed above or Meaghan Gray, Toronto Police Service Corporate Communications, at 416-808-7095.
For more news, visit TPSnews.ca.
Meaghan Gray, Corporate Communications