Nearly $1.5M in drugs, cash seized by N.L. police

About $927,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana and $500,000 in cash have een seized by police in St. John's and British Columbia.
Police seized almost $1.5 million in drugs and cash after four-month investigation. ((CBC))
About $927,000 worth of cocaine and marijuana and $500,000 in cash have been seized following an investigation by police in St. John's and British Columbia.

Police in St. John's said they also seized six vehicles as part of a four-month investigation that saw 13 people arrested and charged Wednesday with numerous charges, including drug trafficking.

Police said the group was operating a major drug-trafficking and money-laundering ring.

RCMP and Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers displayed the evidence from the bust at a news conference in St. John's on Thursday.

RNC Deputy Chief Bob Johnston said the bust from what police dubbed Operation Razorback involved the seizure of nine kilograms of cocaine worth about $900,000, 1.3 kilos of marijuana worth about $27,000, and about $300,000, mostly $20 bills.

Johnston said another $200,000 was seized earlier in the investigation.

"To summarize, in total, Operation Razorback has resulted in the seizure of nearly $1 million in illegal drugs and nearly $500,000 in Canadian currency," he said.

One of the seized vehicles, a brand new Toyota SUV, was modified to create a secret trunk compartment where the drugs and money were hidden.

Police said this custom-made compartment in the trunk of an SUV was used to stash illegal drugs and money. ((CBC))
The chamber was covered by layers of carpet, with a sheet of metal bolted to the bottom to further conceal the compartment, which was wired with a remote switch that opened the latch.

"It was a significant amount of time and effort to actually build that into a brand new vehicle," Johnston said.

Police also seized weapons such as knives, stun guns and pellet rifles.