One person from Blind River and five from Sudbury are among fifteen people charged with 195 offences in a high-level, multi-jurisdiction investigation into a drug trafficking network involving members and associates of outlaw motorcycle gangs across the Niagara Region, Sudbury and Ottawa area.
Darren Gerrard, of Blind River, faces nine total charges:
- Possession of a schedule I substance, to wit: oxycodone contrary to section 4(1) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
- Possession of an unauthorized weapon contrary to section 91(1) of the Criminal Code
- Possession of prohibited firearm with ammunition contrary to section 95(1) of the Criminal Code
- Storage contrary to regulations contrary to section 86(2) of the Criminal Code
- Possession of a firearm contrary to a prohibition order contrary to section 117.01(1) of the Criminal Code
- Conspiracy to traffic cocaine contrary to section 465 (1) (c) of the Criminal Code
- Fail to comply with recognizance contrary to section 145(3) of the Criminal Code
- Failure to comply with conditional sentence order 742.6 Criminal Code
- Possession for the purpose of trafficking a schedule I substance to wit cocaine contrary to section 5(2) of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act
The following is the text of a news release issued by Ontario Provincial Police:
NIAGARA FALLS - Several residents of the Niagara Region, Sudbury and Ottawa face numerous charges following a multi-jurisdiction investigation into a drug trafficking network involving members and associates of outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMGs).
Project Skylark began as a high-level investigation targeting members of the Hells Angels Nomads, the Red Devils MC and the Hooligans MC and their association to a drug trafficking network. Members from these OMGs have facilitated the trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl throughout the Niagara Region, Sudbury and Ottawa area.
At a news conference today, OPP Superintendent Bryan MacKillop and representatives from the project's partner agencies unveiled details of the investigation and photos of the evidence seized during the 14-month investigation. Project Skylark was conducted by the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB), the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS), Greater Sudbury Police Service (GSPS), Ottawa Police Service and Hamilton Police Service. Members of the OPP Emergency Response Team (ERT), OPP Tactics and Rescue Unit (TRU) and similar specialty units from numerous law enforcement partners assisted in the execution of search warrants last week at locations within the Niagara Region, Sudbury, Ottawa and the Town of Blind River.
During the course of the investigation, the investigative team combined to seize 12.5kg of cocaine, 12.2kg of cannabis, 640 grams of shatter, 1400 packages of cannabis edibles, fentanyl patches, 2000 methamphetamine tablets, as well as Hells Angels and Red Devils MC patches. Project Skylark investigators seized 11 firearms and 700 rounds of ammunition, $75,000 in Canadian currency, $30,000 in jewelry, multiple vehicles including three motorcycles and one residence.
Fifteen people have been charged with 195 offences, including charges related to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Criminal Code of Canada and the Cannabis Act. (See the Project Skylark - Addendum of charged persons on the Media Resources Page).
The accused persons were held in custody upon arrest and are expected to appear at an Ontario Court of Justice in Sudbury at various times and dates. The investigation continues.
"The results of this investigation have significantly impacted the Hells Angels Nomads and Red Devils MC drug trafficking network. We want to send a clear message that law enforcement agencies are working together to hold OMGs accountable for trafficking and distributing these drugs that are taking the lives of people in our communities. This investigation will be ongoing, and anyone linked to these criminal enterprises could be subject to further investigation." - OPP Superintendent Bryan MacKillop, Director, Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau