Crackdown on mid-level dealers leads to seizure of $1M worth of meth in Winnipeg: police

A series of drug busts over a 50-day focus on mid-level drug dealers has led to the seizure of $1 million worth of methamphetamine and the arrests of five people, the Winnipeg Police Service said Friday.

Over 10 kg of meth taken off the streets during multiple investigations over 50 days, Winnipeg police say

Police seized nearly 10 kilograms of tightly packed methamphetamine, prepared for trafficking. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

A series of drug busts over a 50-day focus on mid-level drug dealers has led to the seizure of $1 million worth of methamphetamine and the arrests of five people, the Winnipeg Police Service said Friday.

Over the 50 days, the Winnipeg police drug enforcement and street crime units targeted mid-level drug dealers, focusing on methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, police said at a Friday morning news conference.

That crackdown led to the seizure of more than 10 kilograms of meth, as well as $127,000 worth of heroin, $5,000 worth of fentanyl and $40,000 in cash through multiple investigations.

"This is money that would have went directly into the hands of organized crime," said WPS organized crime unit Insp. Max Waddell.

"This 10 kilo amount has the potential impact over 100,000 residents in the city."

Insp. Max Waddell, commander of the Winnipeg Police Service's organized crime unit, at a Friday news conference where police announced a series of drug busts during a 50-day focus on mid-level drug dealers. It led to the seizure of more than 10 kilograms of meth, as well as heroin and cocaine. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

Waddell said that year over year, the amount of meth seized in Winnipeg has grown.

In 2016, police seized 11 kilograms of meth. In 2017, that number was 12 kilograms and in 2018, it jumped to nearly 27 kilograms. 

"We're seeing more and more heroin come on the streets of Winnipeg," he said. "We don't typically see it in the city, but it's becoming more predominant."

Multiple investigations

The first of the five arrests came on Nov. 19, when officers arrested a man in area of Broadway and Sherbrook Street as part of a ongoing investigation.

During a search of a vehicle, officers found five kilograms of methamphetamine. 

On the same day, police searched a home in the St. Vital area, taking a second man into custody. Officers found an additional 1.1 kilograms of methamphetamine, along with drug paraphernalia. 

The two men from Winnipeg, ages 32 and 35, face trafficking charges.

Less than two weeks later, police arrested two other men in connection with methamphetamine and heroin trafficking.

Police searched homes in the Transcona and Lakeside Meadows areas on Dec. 2 after a long investigation, leading to the arrests of a 56-year-old man and a 26-year-old man who also face trafficking charges.

During the searches, a total of 3.64 kilograms of methamphetamine, half a kilogram of heroin, and nearly $40,000 in cash were recovered.

The third search was conducted by police in the Transcona neighbourhood on Jan. 3.

A 37-year-old woman was arrested, and during a search of a home in the area, police recovered 500 grams of methamphetamine, 10 grams of fentanyl, two grams of heroin, two rocks of crack cocaine and other drug  paraphernalia. 

She was released on a promise to appear.

Over 10 kg of meth taken off the streets during multiple investigations over 50 days. 1:32