M’Chigeeng fugitive again sought after court’s ‘catch and release’

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M’CHIGEENG – Victor Branco, one of three people accused of trafficking controlled substances in a location in M’Chigeeng earlier this summer, was eventually captured and charged by police. As part of the police investigation, the incident caused an emergency alert, as Mr. Branco was suspected of being armed and dangerous after evading police.

The UCCM Anishnaabe Police reported last week that on June 24, 2021, information was received that three individuals were trafficking controlled substances out of 644 Cross Hill Road, in M’Chigeeng First Nation. 

As a result, a controlled drug and substances act (CDSA) search warrant was applied for and granted. The warrant was executed through a joint force effort by officers with the Ontario Provincial Police, UCCM Anishnaabe Police and Wikwemikong Tribal Police.

Arrested in the residence and charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and possession of property obtained by crime (Canadian currency) were Victor Branco, 21 years of age, Robert Migwans 45 years of age and Stephanie Cooper, 31 years of age.

Seized by police during the search warrant were 18.5 grams of crystal methamphetine, 26.8 grams of crack cocaine, 4.9 grams of fentanyl and over $19,000 in Canadian currency. Also seized were packaging materials indicating the controlled substances that were being packaged for sale.

All three accused were released on undertakings with conditions. Mr. Branco was escorted off the Island by the police with a condition to not be present in M’Chigeeng and to reside at a residence in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). 

A compliance check was completed recently on Mr. Branco’s address by Toronto Police Service on behalf of a request by UCCM investigators and Mr. Branco was found to not be present as per his curfew condition.

As a result, UCCM Police hold an arrest warrant for breach of conditions of undertaking for Victor Branco and are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Mr. Branco as he is known to frequent M’Chigeeng First Nation. Mr. Branco’s last known reported address as per his undertaking is in Sudbury.

Mr. Branco is also being encouraged to call the UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service or his nearest police service and to speak with an officer for further direction in dealing with his outstanding arrest warrant.