Significant drug seizures and arrests made on Manitoulin

(MANITOULIN ISLAND, ON) – Several residents from Manitoulin Island and the surrounding area, as well as southern Ontario, are facing charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Criminal Code after the conclusion of a significant drug trafficking investigation.

Project HEWSON started in April 2021 in response to the State of Emergency declared by the M’Chigeeng First Nation in relation to opioids, community safety, mental health and violence. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) as well as North East Region (NER) Community Street Crime Units (CSCU) worked with the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin Anishnaabe Police Service (UCCM APS) on this initiative.

The overarching goal of this initiative has been to collaborate, share intelligence and provide mutual support between the Tri-Force Drug Enforcement Team (TFDET), consisting of members from the UCCM APS, Wikwemikong Tribal Police (WTP) and the Manitoulin Detachment CSCU.

Project HEWSON, a 10-month investigation, has focused on targeting individuals responsible for trafficking controlled substances throughout Manitoulin communities. This intelligence-led investigation found evidence that the targets within Project HEWSON trafficked significant volumes of controlled substances including cocaine, fentanyl and hydromorphone throughout Manitoulin and the surrounding area.

Between January 24 and 26, 2022 the OPP OCEB, Manitoulin CSCU, UCCM APS, Wikwemikong Tribal Police, NER CSCU, NER Emergency Response Team (ERT), Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU) and NER Canine Unit executed five search warrants on Manitoulin Island and in the City of Sudbury. Throughout the course of the investigation, the team combined to seize:

  • ·        721 grams suspected fentanyl
  • ·        880 grams suspected cocaine
  • ·        196 hydromorphone tablets
  • ·        3 grams methamphetamine
  • ·        48 Percocet tablets
  • ·        $11,335 CAD currency
  • ·        Two handguns
  • ·        Bat

Project HEWSON has resulted in a total of 12 people charged with 104 offences.

Several of the accused were held in custody upon arrest and are expected to appear at an Ontario Court of Justice in Manitoulin Island (Gore Bay) and Sudbury over the coming months. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges will be laid.

NAMEAGERESIDENCECHARGECOURT STATUS & DATE
Amanda COOPER   14 Charges36Wikwemikong , ON5 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance- Cocaine5 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) Fentanyl4 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in CanadaRemanded to custody. Bail Hearing scheduled for Jan 28, 2022
Kirstan PANAMICK   28 Charges30M’Chigeeng , ON10 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance- Cocaine6 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) Fentanyl5 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Other Drugs Hydromorphone3 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Other Drugs Percocet4 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in CanadaRemanded into custody. Bail hearing scheduled for Feb 3, 2022
Victor BRANCO   27 Charges22Sudbury, ON5 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in Canada2 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000 – in Canada3 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance- Cocaine6 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) Fentanyl1 x CC 145(5)(a) Failure to comply with release order – other than to attend court2 x CDSA 5(2) Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.1 x CC 91(1) Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm1 x CC 92(2) Possession of a prohibited device or ammunition2 x CC 86(1) Transport firearm, weapon, prohibited device or ammunition in a careless manner1 x CC 94 Occupant of Motor Vehicle knowing there was Firearm1 x CC 95(a) Possession of Loaded Prohibited or Restricted Firearm1 x CC 92(1) Knowledge of Unauthorized Possession of Firearm1 x CC 268 Aggravated AssaultRemanded into Custody. Bail hearing scheduled for Feb 3, 2022.
Martha SHAWANA   1 Charge  60Wikwemikong , ON1 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance- CocaineArrested and released by way of an undertaking. Feb 15, 2022
Conrad PLUME   6 Charges38Wikwemikong , ON4 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance- Cocaine2 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) FentanylArrested and released by way of an undertaking. Feb 15, 2022
Connie OTTOKAR   1 Charge  51Massey, ON1 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance- CocaineArrested and released by way of an undertaking. Mar 7, 2022
Orvelle BUCKLEY  
2 Charges  
36Espanola, ON1 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) Fentanyl1 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in CanadaRemanded into Custody.
Crystal LEWIS  
2 Charges
36Wikwemikong, ON1 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) Fentanyl1 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in CanadaArrested and released by way of an undertaking. Feb 15, 2022
Brian Jordan ENSE  
3 Charges
34M’Chigeeng, ON2 x CDSA 5(1) Traffick in Schedule I substance – Opioid (other than heroin) Hydromorphone and Percocets1 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in CanadaArrested and released by way of an undertaking. Feb 15, 2022
Devin WILSON  
9 Charges
33Scarborough, ON1 x CDSA 5(2) Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.1 x CC 354(1)(a) Possession Property Obtained by Crime Under $5,000 – in Canada1 x CC 91(1) Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm1 x CC 92(2) Possession of a prohibited device or ammunition2 x CC 86(1) Transport firearm, weapon, prohibited device or ammunition in a careless manner1 x CC 94 Occupant of Motor Vehicle knowing there was Firearm1 x CC 95(a) Possession of Loaded Prohibited or Restricted Firearm1 x CC 92(1) Knowledge of Unauthorized Possession of FirearmRemanded into Custody. Bail hearing Feb 1, 2022
Mitchell GILLIGHAM   8 Charges31Windsor, ON1 x CDSA 5(2) Possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.1 x CC 91(1) Unauthorized possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm1 x CC 92(2) Possession of a prohibited device or ammunition2 x CC 117.01(1) Adult Possession of a firearm or ammunition contrary to Prohibition1 x CC 95(1) Adult possession of loaded firearm1 X CC 86(1) Adult careless use of a firearm1 x CDSA 4(1) Possession of a controlled substance.Remanded into Custody. Bail hearing Feb 3, 2022    
Lucius JACKO  
3 charges
42Wikwemikong ON3 x CDSA 5(2) Possession for the purpose of trafficking.Arrested and released by way of an undertaking. March 8, 2022