Biggest drug haul in the history of the Region - valued at $5 million

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 18TH, 2021



The biggest drug bust the Regional Police have ever handled resulted in a $5 million dollar haul and 12 arrests.
It all started with a single tip of one individual and grew to involve police from Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville, London, Mississauga , Toronto, Markham, Woodbridge, Caledon and Etobicoke.

Code named Project Icarus, after the sun god from Greek mythology, the investigation took place over a 10-month period starting in October 2020 and resulted in what the Halton police are calling the largest drug seizure in Halton Regional Police history.

The size of the drugs, weapons, and cash haul

“I’m extremely proud of the work done by all officers involved. Our members continue to demonstrate that if you choose to participate in organized crime in our region threatening safety of our community, we will aggressively target you and arrest you,” said Deputy Chief Hill.

Halton regional police service investigators executed warrants at 14 residential locations and 2 business locations all around the GTA on July 21, July 29th and August 12th resulting in 12 arrests and dozens of kilograms of cocaine, ecstasy, other Illicit substances, weapons and vehicles being seized.

A gun with bags of bullets – not toys.

“Though hard work and collaboration our dedicated officers turned a small investigation of a single suspect into a significant project. Project Icarus has removed drugs, guns and criminals from the streets of not just Halton but the entire GTA,” said Halton regional police service Deputy Chief Jeff Hill.

Several drugs, weapons were seized which include:

• 27 kilograms of cocaine.
• 15 kilograms of ecstasy.
• Over 1000 kilograms of cannabis.
• One .40 caliber Glock handgun.
• One 9mm Glock handgun.
• Prohibited magazines.
• One 12-gauge shotgun and 1,100 rounds of ammunition.
• More than $100,000 in currency, jewelry and motor vehicles
• Illicit opioids (0.5 kg fentanyl, oxycodone and morphine)

Police say the amount of drugs seized add up to an estimated street value of over $5 million.

Inspector Dave Constantini

“I think it doesn’t just impact our region I think it impacts GTA wide,” said Inspector Dave Constantini.

The following people have been arrested and charged:

Cash and a counting machine

• James Ferrier (27) of Toronto
• Terrance Hancock (45) of London
• John Byard (40) of Mississauga
• Trevor Harwood (42) of Etobicoke
• Jile Cai (34) of Etobicoke
• Anthony Mason (39) of Hamilton
• Brian Aguiar (32) of Burlington
• Ana Antunes (30) of Burlington
• Crystal Giang (30) of North York
• Thanh Ma (31) of Newmarket

All accused are facing various drug, firearm and cannabis offences.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

4 comments to Biggest drug haul in the history of the Region – valued at $5 million

  • Oops 2022 provincial and municipal elections

  • Alfred

    The war on Drugs was lost a long time ago. When people OD. in jail, it’s time to legalize drugs. Imagine how many hospitals, affordable housing units, rehab centres etc. could be built with the profits. Neat stuff.

    Next week there will be another bust, the following week another bust the police are out chasing their tales. Nothing changes. Those looking for help will now have a place to go. Addicts will still die. The dealers would dry up. No more killing each other. Remember Prohibition. Drug related murders worldwide, total in the millions. Legalizing marijuana was brilliant. The older generation which I am part of should some times go sit in the corner and be quiet. They should also apologize for creating the deficit on such idiotic spending.

  • Denise W.

    ” Code named Project Icarus, after the sun god from Greek mythology….” That would be Helios then. Icarus, was not a God, but did want to start his own airline. It ended badly as that is a very tough business.

  • “Our members continue to demonstrate that if you choose to participate in organized crime in our region threatening safety of our community, we will aggressively target you and arrest you,” said Deputy Chief Hill.”

    Kudos to those who took a single tip and worked it through with other police forces until this job was done and $5 million of illicit drugs are “safely stowed away” in Halton evidence files. Dave worked with Deputy Chief Roger Wilkie and the former Deputy Chief Nishan Duraiappah when they were located in the Drug and Morality Squad, to provide the evidence they needed (theft of power) to a JP to allow police to storm Oakville grow operations. Then he appeared for the Crown as an expert witness to ensure the evidence was on the table to deal with the crime, It was always a good feeling when Dave saw the contraband drugs and other proceeds of crime being hauled off to the “safety of Halton evidence files” despite both of us being aware that the evidence sometimes disappeared.

    One such matter involved a case of liquor that should have been returned when a young man was cleared of all charges associated with the liquor being in the trunk of his car (it belonged to his passenger who was the legal age to drink and it was unopened). Another before Halton police came into being involved the cash and seal of a local business where a local Oakville business man was charged and then lost his business when cash and seal like the case of liquor simply disappeared when the time came to return them. While questions were asked in parliament and the business man tried everything he could to get his business back he died with his business status quo. Halton Region Police assuring the Marsdens that there is no statute of limitations for criminal offences has not been any comfort to his family given their father went to his grave with rumours that he was a criminal who illegally acted against the best interests of his clients. The young man gave up on his case of hard lemonade after the Sgt. on duty laughed in his face when he went to pick it up. Police complaints did nothing in either case.

    Then there was an admission that evidence kept by Halton had disappeared and it caused a huge stink because it meant all the hard work done to take organized crime off the Halton streets was for nothing and the case was dismissed. The fact that one of the Drug and Morality Squad Dave worked with had an addiction that led to the disappearance of the evidence, was no consolation for the taxpayers of Halton who knew those HRPS clearly believed and had the evidence to prove it were back out on the streets again.

    The Marsdens files are full of evidence that pertain to crimes committed in Halton but regardless of the extent of the crime (multiple homicides for example) are never investigated. Despite the RCMP being involved for one particular case of pension fraud and the theft of a “million dollar plus estate” while the persons were clients of a Halton long term care home by the victim’s MP, the Marsdens were told the RCMP could do nothing unless HRPS invited them in. The first debate of the 2018 election in Milton saw a candidate talking about what he had heard at the door of a Halton police officer, “crime in Halton is not being reported as it should be”. Anne rose to her feet to pose a question after this declaration, told of our experiences with such information offered by the police officer being accurate. She followed this up by asking every candidate to make a statement on whether they would commit to speaking out about the issues of non-investigated crime on the one hand, while Halton wins the safest community awards year after year. All candidates made such a statement including the present Mayor of Milton whose response showed he was genuinely upset that a candidate would hear this at the door of a Milton member of the HRP)S. He wholeheartedly agreed he would never support such action, as did all other candidates.

    Whether or not the Milton elected candidates have kept their commitment is not for us to say as we have no evidence for or against. However, the Marsdens have committed to releasing the results of several audits pertaining to uninvestigated crime in Halton and Burlington over the next six months, ensuring informed votes in the 2021 provincial and municipal elections. The first one “In Gould’s Riding” sub-title “A Fresh Pair of Eyes” keeps the commitment we made to Gazette readers regarding a report being presented to the new City of Burlington internal auditor who we understand arrived at City Hall on Monday, August 16, 2021.

    Editor’s note: A rude awakening for that incoming auditor.