Project “Folkstone” Results In 22 ArrestsMarch 11th, 2010 12:47pm
TORONTO – No less than 28 search warrants took place in the last couple of days in the Toronto area and Windsor in what was dubbed Project “Folkstone”. The result, thus far, is 250 criminal charges against 22 individuals for organized crime related offenses.
The investigation has been ongoing for the past 7 months and it was led by PWEU (Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit) – a unit comprised of 13 local agencies along with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).
The warrants also led to the recovery and seizure of 15 guns, $400,000 of cocaine, cash and vehicles obtained by crime.
Project “Folkstone” focused on an organized crime group whose main activities were to smuggle illegal guns from the United States into Ontario.
OPP officials say the investigation is still ongoing and they could lay more charges.
“The illegal smuggling and selling of guns by organized crime groups poses a grave danger to innocent people in our communities and is frequently associated with the illegal drug trade. The Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit and its policing partners are committed to dismantling these criminal enterprises.” – Julian Fantino, Commissioner, Ontario Provincial Police.
“Project Folkstone is a great example of a multi-jurisdictional partnership demonstrating teamwork, which is one of our most cherished values here at York Regional Police. The success of this project is a direct result of police services working together for a common goal – to get firearms off the street.” – Armand P. La Barge, Chief of Police, York Regional Police.
“This initiative shows how partnership between law enforcement agencies, both domestic and international, can work to advance public safety. This is part of the agency’s efforts to fighting crime and keeping our communities safe.”
– Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, CBSA.
“This Operation is another example of the excellent international partnership that ATF and our Canadian law enforcement counterparts have developed, focusing on the suppression of illicit firearms trafficking between our countries. ATF will continue to partner with Canadian law enforcement at the Federal, Provincial and municipal levels to address this important issue common to our shared border.” – Robert Thomas, ATF Country Attaché, Supervisory Special Agent – Canada.
Some statistics suggest that a large number of the illegal weapons in Toronto and across Ontario used to commit crimes have been smuggled from the United States.