Nfld. & Labrador

Grills, guns, drugs and $840K seized in RCMP operation

Total value of items seized in Project Broken is around $1.4 million, say RCMP.

5 people are facing multiple charges as part of Project Broken

A collection of weapons were also collected in the seizure, police say. (CBC)

Guns, cocaine, diamond jewelry and more than $840,000 in cash are now in the hands of police, as a result of an investigation into organized crime and drug trafficking.

The amount of money collected by officers as part of Project Broken is the biggest cash seizure by provincial police in the history of Newfoundland and Labrador, according to RCMP.

These items are just some of what police confiscated as part of Project Broken. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"[It was] an interprovincial drug trafficking network which was importing large volumes of cocaine into the province and the laundering of moneys associated with its operation," Inspector Derek Santosuosso told the media at RCMP headquarters in St. John's.

Police arrested five people during Operation Broken, including three from this province.

Jonathan Brandon Mahon, 27-years-old from St. John's. 

  • conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
  • possession of cocaine from trafficking
  • possession of a restricted firearm
  • possession of a firearm with serial number removed
  • 2 counts of careless storage of a firearm

Nicklaus James Travis, 29-years-old from Torbay

  • conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance
  • possession of cocaine for trafficking
  • trafficking cocaine

Thomas Scott Brown, 30-years-old from Torbay

  • conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance

The three appeared in provincial court on Oct. 9.

"All three were released on bail and will be appearing in court on Dec. 14 for their next appearance," said Santosuosso.

A set of diamond grills seized by police. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Other items seized as part of the operation include:

  • six kilograms of cocaine;
  • five vehicles; including a Hummer and Mercedes Benz
  • 16 doses of LSD;
  • $7,000 in diamond dental grills and other jewlery;
  • three guns, including a 9mm handgun, Kel-Tec pump-action shotgun and a Czech Small Arms brand semiautomatic rifle.

RCMP Staff Sergeant Stefan Thoms said the gun possession shouldn't be too alarming to the general public.

From left to right, RCMP Staff-Sgt. Stefan Thoms, Supt. Deanna Hill and Insp. Derek Santosuosso spoke to the media on Wednesday about Project Broken. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

"Across Canada you're finding semiautomatic rifles and people in possession of those across Canada," he said.

"I would say that for the regular person going about doing their business, it's not something that they should be concerned about."

Project Broken began in May 2017 as an investigation into several people originally from Torbay.

The total value of all items seized is around $1.4 million, RCMP said.

"It certainly does help our morale," Thoms said.

"More importantly, it's a win for the community to get this off the street and improve the safety of our community."

Project Broken included resources from the RCMP CSFEU in Montreal, the Alberta RCMP, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary, Correctional Services Canada and the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada.

Some of the items seized included Rolex watches and other jewelry. In the background is a photo of some of the $840,000 cash collected as part of the investigation. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Read more stories from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Jeremy Eaton