Four men have been charged for illegal gun importation and exporting cannabis from an illegal grow operation between the Canada-US border.
On Wednesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said, after a 16-month joint investigation with US Homeland Security Investigations, members of the RCMP in Ontario and Quebec, with the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) – Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team, executed six search warrants within the Greater Toronto Area and Quebec.
“This resulted in the seizure of a quantity of suspected restricted and prohibited handguns, over 800 plants and dried cannabis from an illegal grow operation, and approximately 400 grams of suspected cocaine,” the release says.
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The group was found to be growing cannabis outside of Health Canada regulations in the GTA. And on several occasions the group used a Jet Ranger helicopter to fly the illegally grown cannabis across the Canada-US border “between the ports of entry at low altitudes to avoid detection.”
The helicopter, a truck and trailer were seized “as offence-related property” and an investigation into the origin of the handguns is ongoing.
RCMP officers of the Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment Serious and Organized Crime Unit arrested Kamal Deep Bassan, 36 year-old from Vaughan, Ramindejit Assi, 25 year-old from Burlington, Derek Chi-Yeung Ng, 40 year-old, from East Gwillimbury, and Parmjot Saini, 30 year-old from Woodbridge.
All four individuals are jointly charged with:
- Conspiracy to commit the unlawful export of cannabis, possession of cannabis for the purpose of exporting it and cultivating cannabis not at a dwelling house, contrary to the Criminal Code
- Possession of cannabis for the purpose of Export Contrary to the Cannabis Act
- Unlawful export of cannabis contrary to the Cannabis Act
- Unlawful cultivation propagation and harvest of cannabis plants at a place that is not a dwelling house, contrary to the Cannabis Act
- Possession of forged documents, contrary to the Criminal Code
Assi is further charged with: illegal possession of brass knuckles, a prohibited device, contrary to the Criminal Code; possession of cocaine, contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
And Ng is further charged with: possession of cocaine, contrary to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act; possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing, contrary to the Cannabis Act.
As well as Saini who is further charged with: possession of cannabis for the purpose of distributing, contrary to the Cannabis Act.
“The success of the investigation is due to the diligent efforts of the RCMP officers, analysts, and the efforts of our partners, specifically US Homeland Security Investigations, US Air and Marine Operations, the US Border Patrol and the Ontario Provincial Police – Provincial Joint Forces Cannabis Enforcement Team. The RCMP continues to be committed to combatting Transnational Organized Crime and keeping our citizens safe by removing illicit commodities off the streets and out of the hands of these group,” Inspector Ann Koenig, RCMP Hamilton-Niagara Regional Detachment said in a statement.