RCMP’s Project Optimus nabs two from Oshawa and three from St. Catharines in international trafficking investigation

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Published December 6, 2021 at 11:14 am

Seven people from across the Greater Toronto Area are facing over 50 drug and gun charges after a more than a year-long international trafficking investigation dubbed Project Optimus.

The project began in September 2020, under the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), which is made up of investigators from RCMP, Canada Border Service and Ontario, York, Toronto, Peel, Durham, and Halton police services.

Over the following 14 months, the CFSEU identified groups operating in St. Catharines and Toronto, who they believed to be involved in international drug trafficking.

On November 2, officers executed multiple search warrants across the GTA resulting in seven arrests. Forty kilograms of suspected cocaine, 250 grams of suspected MDMA, $84,000 in cash and four illegal guns were discovered in the raids. Also found was a variety of drug paraphernalia, such as scales, vacuum sealers and money counters.

Lucas Mason, 25, of Oshawa is charged with possession of cocaine and MDMA for trafficking, two counts of careless use of a firearm and three unauthorized possession of a prohibited firearm counts. Cassandra Donovan, 28, of Oshawa is charged with possession of cocaine and MDMA for trafficking.

Peter Saleeb, 28, from St. Catharines is charged with five counts of possession of cocaine for trafficking, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, two counts of careless use of a firearm, three counts carrying a concealed weapon, ten more firearm-related offenses, two counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000 and possession of a forged document.

Peter Ibrahim, 28, of St. Catharines, is charged with four counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 and conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance. Rajai Okal, 24, of St. Catharines, faces possession of  cocaine for trafficking, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance.

Finally, Khoa Nguyen, 50, from Toronto, is charged with two different counts of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

“This operation highlights the effectiveness of the CFSEU multi-jurisdictional model,” said S/Sgt Henry Tillo, acting Officer in Charge CFSEU, who acknowledged the unit’s partners for their commitment to “expose, investigate, prosecute and dismantle” organized criminal enterprises.

 

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