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OPP shuts down ‘significant’ Eastern Ontario meth operation

Photo provided by OPP

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) East Region Community Street Crime Unit (CSCU) and Belleville Police Service announced today that they have shut down a significant crystal methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking operation in Eastern Ontario.

CSCU officers, along with members of the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB), OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT) and Belleville Police Service launched the investigation, dubbed “Project Esher,” in early 2020.

Police say Project Esher targeted illicit drug operations stretching from Quinte West to Kingston. Initial arrests took place on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, after a traffic stop on Highway 401 in Quinte West. At that time, police reportedly seized several kilograms of suspected crystal meth, and two people were arrested.

On Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, CSCU, Belleville Police and OPP OCEB members executed search warrants in Belleville and Toronto. Two people were arrested and officers reportedly seized nearly two kilograms of crystal meth, a quantity of cocaine, over $130,000 in Canadian currency and two loaded handguns.

Derrick Veley, age 31 of Loyalist Township is charged with:

  • Possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to a Prohibition Order – Criminal Code (CC) sec. 117.01(1) – four counts
  • Resisting a Peace Officer – CC sec. 129(a)
  • Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime – CC sec. 354(1)(a)
  • Failure to comply with an undertaking – CC sec. 145(4)(a)
  • Failure to comply with a Probation Order – CC sec. 733.1(1) – two counts
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 substance for the purpose of trafficking – Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) sec. 5(2) – two counts

Alexander Dumouchel, age 29 of Quinte West is charged with:

  • Dangerous operation – CC sec. 320.13(1)
  • Flight from Peace Officer – CC sec. 320.17
  • Resisting a Peace Officer – CC sec. 129(a)
  • Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime – CC sec. 354(1)(a)
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 substance for the purpose of trafficking – CDSA sec. 5(2) – two counts

Cody Butler, age 23 of Quinte West is charged with:

  • Possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to a Prohibition Order – CC sec. 117.01(1) – three counts
  • Careless storage of a firearm – CC sec. 86(1)
  • Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm – CC sec. 91(1)
  • Possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm – CC sec. 95(a)
  • Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm/ammunition – CC sec. 95(b)
  • Conspiracy to commit and indictable offence – CC sec. 465(1)(c)
  • Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime – CC sec. 354(1)(a)
  • Trafficking a Schedule 1 substance – CDSA sec. 5(1)
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 substance for the purpose of trafficking – CDSA sec. 5(2) – three counts

Donte Frivalt, age of 24 of Scarborough has been charged with:

  • Possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to a Prohibition Order – CC sec. 117.01(1)
  • Careless storage of a firearm – CC sec. 86(1)
  • Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm – CC sec. 91(1)
  • Possession of a loaded prohibited or restricted firearm – CC sec. 95(a)
  • Possession of prohibited or restricted firearm/ammunition – CC sec. 95(b)
  • Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime – CC sec. 354(1)(a)
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 substance for the purpose of trafficking – CDSA sec. 5(2) – three counts

All accused persons have been remanded in custody with appearances scheduled before the Ontario Court of Justice in Belleville.

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Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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