Jonathon Liedtke – ourWindsor.ca – June 13, 2013
An investigation led by the Toronto Police integrated guns and drugs task-force has resulted in 42 tactical teams from 17 police agencies executing 29 search warrants in Toronto and Windsor which netted 28 arrests and saw 40 firearms over $3-million in narcotics and $572,000 in cash confiscated.
According to Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair, the investigation – dubbed Project Traveler – saw Toronto Police working in conjunction with Windsor Police, the OPP, the Canadian Border Services Agency, members of the Peel Region, Halton Region, York Region and Durham regional police services and as well police in Edmonton and the Alberta law enforcement response teams.
“Project traveler is a very complex investigation into the alleged criminal activities of a group known as ‘The Dixon City Bloods’ or ‘The Dixon Goonies’,” said Blair. “The investigation, which began in June of 2012, centred on the trafficking of firearms and drugs and involved numerous serious crimes of violence including murder and attempt murder.”
While the investigation of many of the alleged crimes of the gang focused around an apartment complex on Dixon Road, police have found that it is further reaching.
“Our investigation revealed that the impact of their activities ranged far beyond that neighbourhood, and they involved serious crimes of violence, gun importation and trafficking across Toronto, in the surrounding regions, throughout Ontario, in Windsor Ontario and in the province of Alberta,” said Blair.
According to Deputy Chief Mark Saunders of the Toronto Police the gang has been networking with associates from Windsor and Edmonton since 2006 and gang members have been responsible and involved in shootings, robberies, the possession and distribution of drugs and the trafficking of firearms.
In Windsor, eleven search warrants were executed and nine individuals have been arrested as a result of Project Traveler.
“Today we’ve arrested 19 people in Toronto, nine in Windsor, 43 to date have been arrested from this investigation and the investigation is still ongoing and we anticipate that there will be more arrests that take place,” said Saunders.
The narcotics seized included cocaine, heroin, hashish, marijuana, LSD, crystal meth, and others.
While all media inquiries regarding the results of the investigation in Windsor were directed to the Toronto Police, Sgt. Matthew D’Asti, the public information officer for the Windsor Police, circulated the following message to local media:
“Windsor Police and other police agencies are working together in collaboration with Toronto Police Service. There have been multiple search warrants executed in the Windsor area involving several police agencies assisting Toronto Police in their investigation. The warrants were executed in the early morning hours of June 13, 2013. The focus of the investigation is targeting guns and drugs.”
When Blair provided media the opportunity to question him regarding the investigation, the majority of questions from reporters centred around the Rob Ford crack scandal and whether or not the police were seeking the alleged smartphone which media other media have claimed was used to videotape an allegedly high Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine out of a glass pipe and disparaging homosexuals, Justin Trudeau and his former football team.
Ford has repeatedly denied the existence of the video and has stated publicly that he “does not smoke crack cocaine.”
Since the Rob Ford crack story broke several weeks ago, Ford has fired his chief-of-staff and has seen five key staffers resign from his office, including both his press secretary and deputy press secretary.
Repeatedly, Blair indicated that any evidence collected would be submitted to the court and that it would be in court where evidence was made public and not a media briefing.
“All of the evidence will come out in court, where it belongs,” Blair said.
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.