Police seize counterfeit pill press in city-wide drug bust
Alleged drug ring had capacity to churn out 600,000 fake pills, police say
Ottawa police seized guns, drugs, cash and a "pill press" capable of churning out about 20,000 counterfeit pills an hour during a city-wide drug bust Tuesday.
Four people were charged after officers with the Ottawa Police Service's drug unit executed eight search warrants at homes, businesses and vehicles yesterday, wrapping up an investigation that began last November into an alleged cocaine and counterfeit drug ring.
"This is an important seizure that shows the ability of traffickers to produce large amounts of counterfeit pills locally," said Staff Sgt. Rick Carey in a statement.
Officers seized pills believed to be ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, hashish and steroids, along with an "unknown powder" that is currently being analyzed," police said.
In addition to the pill press, officers also seized two cocaine presses. Police said they estimate the group had the capability to manufacture 600,000 counterfeit pills.
The seizure also included a shotgun, a semi-automatic handgun, 400 rounds of ammunition, two cars and an undisclosed amount of currency.
Two suspects still at large
A 28-year-old Ottawa man faces 24 charges, the majority of them weapons- and drug-related, and was held in custody pending a show cause hearing.
A 27-year-old woman and two 24-year-old men, all from Ottawa, were charged with fewer offences and have been released, police said.
Police continue to look for two more suspects: a 32-year-old man and a 27-year-old man.
Anyone with information can call the Ottawa Police Service at 613-236-1222 ext. 7300, or submit an anonymous tip through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).