Craig Ruthowsky, accused Hamilton police officer, denied bail

Hamilton Police officer Craig Ruthowsky, who is charged with participating in a criminal organization, was denied bail Tuesday by a Toronto court.

Lawyer Bernard Cummins says his client 'knew today would be a difficult day'

Craig Ruthowsky was denied bail at a Toronto court on Tuesday. (Pam Davies)

A Hamilton Police officer charged with participating in a criminal organization was denied bail Tuesday by a Toronto court. 

Craig Ruthowsky, 41, will remain behind bars awaiting a trial on several charges laid after a series of gang raids across the GTHA that police called Project Pharaoh. Ruthowsky is charged with: breach of trust, conspiracy to commit an indictable (traffic cocaine), participate in activities of a criminal organization and commission of an indictable offence for a criminal organization.

Justice of the Peace Kevin Madigan decided Ruthowsky would remain in custody after two days of bail hearings.

Outside court, his lawyer Bernard Cummins said they will appeal the decision.

"We respect the decision but we also respectfully disagree with it," Cummins said outside of the Finch Avenue West courthouse. "And we will bring a bail review at the earliest opportunity."

Ruthowsky's wife Christine — who is herself a long serving member of the Hamilton Police Service — was in court Tuesday with family but declined to comment.

The details of the bail hearing are under a publication ban. For that reason, crown attorney John Pollard declined to comment. 

Knew 'today would be difficult'

Toronto Police searched a home on Trenholme Crescent in Hamilton as part of its Project Pharaoh raids. (Tony Smyth/CBC)
Asked how being a police officer would impact his time spent behind bars, Cummins declined to comment. He later said he and Ruthowsky "knew today would be a difficult day," and that his client "maintains incredible resilience."

Ruthowsky, a 17-year veteran of the Hamilton Police Service, was arrested Thursday as part of a wide-cast net of arrests under the Toronto Police investigation, Project Pharaoh.

The year-and-a-half long investigation focused on a Toronto gang, the Monstarz, that operates primarily in northwestern Toronto, according to police.

Police seized 33 kilograms of cocaine, $196,000 Canadian and $18,000 American in cash and 14 firearms during the arrests.

The total street value of the drugs seized is about $3.8 million.

Toronto Police said Friday that a total of 60 people have been arrested to date as a result of the Project Pharaoh investigation.

Ruthowsky previously served on Hamilton's guns and gangs unit.