A Thunder Bay court has handed down stiff sentences to city residents for drug trafficking.

Two men learned their fate after pleading guilty Thursday to a variety of drug-related charges. Tai Ong, 41, was sentenced to nine years in jail. Francesco Bennardo, 35 — who pled guilty to one count of trafficking OxyContin — received 15 months in jail.

Judge Dianne Baig told Ong he sold harmful drugs to vulnerable people, and that he "lived off their blood, essentially."

These sentences — and others — were the end result of Project Dolphin, a large-scale investigation led by Thunder Bay police.


Thunder Bay Police Chief JP Levesque (CBC)

"I'm satisfied with what the sentences are to be quite honest," said Thunder Bay Police Chief JP Levesque.

"To get this kind of sentence without going to trial is pretty significant and … I think it's ... kind of a win for us."

The 16-month undercover investigation also included Toronto Police, RCMP, OPP, and the Nishnawbe Aski Police Service.

The arrests were made after a city-wide raid, which took place June 16, 2011.

At the time, police said they had dismantled a complex drug distribution network.

Earlier this month, 23-year-old Ryan Smith and 37-year-old Eugenio Caruso were each sentenced to six years in jail.

Several other accused people are still before the courts.