The Ottawa Police Service, OPP and RCMP teamed up to dismantle a drug trafficking network here in our city, seizing 25 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of $12 million, four firearms and 10 vehicles.
On Thursday afternoon, representatives from all three law enforcement agencies announced the results of the two-year investigation dubbed Project Anarchy.
Nine men are facing 75 charges, including conspiracy to traffic cocaine and possession of a restricted firearm.
Three of those people are still at large; Canada-wide warrants have been issued for Reagan Kavanagh, Ravinder Grewal and Bassam Elouta.
Police allege the ringleader is 31 year-old Hisham "Terry" Alkhalil, and his family or network has been known to police for years.
One of his brothers is in custody in Greece, and extradition hearings are underway to return him to Canada to face murder charges for homicides in Toronto and Vancouver.
Police Chief Charles Bordeleau said this is a major blow to the network, which extended to Vancouver, then the Lower Mainland and Toronto.
"The level of violence associated with this network was extremely high and we wanted to prevent that from coming to Ottawa. So tackling this network was a pre-emptive strike to address the level of violence that we saw associated with this network."
Ottawa Police Acting Insp. Mike Laviolette explained that particular network didn't operate in isolation.
"This drug trafficking network has ties to all organized crime facets. We've seen the Hell's Angels in this, we've seen traditional organized crime, a good number of groups throughout the country."
Police say Hisham Alkhalil and several of his brothers came to Canada years ago from Iran.