The father of Newfoundland-born NHL player Ryane Clowe is among those charged in the wake of a police investigation targeting "high-level" cocaine trafficking in the St. John's area.

Anthony Clowe, 51, of Paradise is charged with money laundering and possessing property obtained by crime.

His case was called at Newfoundland and Labrador provincial court in St. John’s on Wednesday morning.

Defence lawyer Randy Piercey declined comment on behalf of his client.

Ryane Clowe, a forward with the New Jersey Devils, is not implicated in the Operation Battalion probe, and does not face any charges. 

The charges against Anthony Clowe stem from a six-month Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit-Newfoundland & Labrador (CFSEU-NL) investigation. Police in Montreal and Vancouver also assisted in the probe.

Cash and drugs

Operation Battalion was a six-month operation that targeted high-level cocaine traffickers in the St. John's area. (Courtesy RCMP)

In March, according to an RCMP release, police executed search warrants at St. John's International Airport, Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport in Montreal, and residences and vehicles in the St. John's area.

Police say they seized:

  • Nearly $350,000 in cash.
  • Cocaine.
  • A loaded 9-mm prohibited handgun.
  • Ammunition.
  • Brass knuckles.
  • A stun gun.
  • A 2012 Toyota Tundra.

Kurt Churchill of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s and Leroy Thomas of St. John's were also charged with numerous offences, including conspiracy to traffic in cocaine and weapons offences.

In April, as part of the same investigation, a half-dozen others were charged for their roles in planning and staging a fake car accident.

Anthony Clowe was not referenced in initial press releases about Operation Battalion, although police noted at the time that their investigation was ongoing and more charges were expected.

He was charged in June, on the same information that listed charges against Churchill and Thomas.

Proceedings in all of the Operation Battalion-related cases have been set over until Jan. 9, to give the defence time to review the Crown’s disclosure packages, which include wiretap evidence.