Project Titan: Massive drug haul targets suppliers
Arlen Hodge facing eight charges; slated for bail hearing Tuesday
Police in St. John's showed off a massive haul of marijuana and other drugs Monday, calling "Project Titan" one of the most successful busts in Newfoundland and Labrador history.
The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, a joint RCMP/Royal Newfoundland Constabulary team, used 25 officers in a month-long investigation that also yielded cocaine, MDMA — the pure substance originally synonymous with ecstasy — and a drug known as "shatter."
Shatter — a concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, the ingredient in marijuana that produces a high — has been popping up across Canada, with the Ontario Provincial Police issuing a warning in March on the drug.
Const. Dave Emberley of CFSEU-NL said the investigation, involving five searches in St. John's, led to the seizure of 10 kilograms of cocaine, 300 pounds of marijuana (about 136 kilograms), two kilograms of shatter and two kilograms of MDMA.
'We've dismantled this particular group'
The drugs were discovered in a storage unit, vehicles and businesses, all on one day, Emberley said.
Arlen Hodge, a resident of British Columbia, was arrested on Wednesday.
The 41-year-old is facing eight charges, including trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Another man was arrested but has not yet been charged.
Emberley, who suggested other charges may be laid against other individuals, said this seizure has successfully knocked out one group of people who supply drugs to the province.
"We believe we've dismantled this particular group," he said.
"While we may have dismantled one group and created a temporary void, [it] will be filled by somebody else."
According to the OPP, shatter can contain 70 to 80 per cent THC, which is well above the five to eight per cent of a typical marijuana joint.