Toronto

Weapons, cash from police raids displayed

A total of 27 illegal weapons and $110,000 seized during a multi-province raid dubbed Project Marvel have been revealed by Toronto police.

Project Marvel raids in 3 provinces involved 900 officers

Police say they seized $110,000 during Tuesday's raids in three provinces. (Jeff Semple/CBC)

A total of 27 illegal weapons and $110,000 seized during a multi-province raid dubbed Project Marvel were revealed by Toronto police Wednesday.

The seven-month investigation led to at least 60 arrests in communities across Canada during pre-dawn raids on Tuesday morning.

Project Marvel delved into the criminal operations of two Toronto gangs — the Young Buck Killas and the G-Siders. Police say their criminal activities spread well beyond their base in northwest Toronto, expanding as far west as B.C.

Supt. Chris White of the organized crime unit said 396 criminal charges have been filed against the accused.

"The investigation continues; we have some unfinished business that we need to further investigate, " said White. "We're confident we've made a dent in some of the organized crime that has been plaguing some of these communities."

Youth among arrested

Great-grandmother arrested in raids

Among the more than 60 people arrested in Project Marvel was a 94-year-old great-grandmother.

Maude Maragh doesn't hear very well, but she says she heard the police kick in her bedroom door Tuesday morning during the cross-country raids.

She says a police rifle was pointed at her head.

Her great-grandaughter Natalie Brown said police kept Maragh in jail for nearly 12 hours without food or her medication. 

"Having lived for 94 years she hasn't experienced [anything] like this before," Brown said. "So it's pretty terrible."

Police say they were actually looking for Maragh's grandson: A 21-year-old alleged gang member who's now behind bars facing weapons charges.

No one was available to comment on how long Maragh was in custody or why. 

More than 900 officers executed 67 search warrants simultaneously across Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Of the approximately 60 people taken into custody, about 10 are young offenders, police said.

Investigators say Project Marvel involved criminal organization offences, attempted murder, firearms trafficking and importation, drug trafficking, robbery, shootings, prostitution and other crimes.

About 400 tactical officers were involved in the raids in Toronto, London, Hamilton, Durham Region, York Region, Peel Region, Windsor and Ottawa in Ontario. There were also raids in Calgary and Surrey, B.C.

On Tuesday, Toronto police Chief Bill Blair said the investigation began in May when police began looking into a shooting and robbery in the city's northwest.

"As that investigation progressed, we found linkages between those gangs and individuals who actually came from our [Toronto] neighbourhoods and moved out to those jurisdictions ... who continued in criminal activity," said Blair.

Police say as the investigation matured, it spread to other jurisdictions in Ontario, and then to Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Fort McMurray, Alta. 

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