Thirteen Haliburton County residents have so far been charged with drug-related offences following a major OPP drug probe over the past nine months.

Dubbed Project Imperial, the investigation culminated in several raids in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 30 – targeting the trafficking of cocaine to the area from the GTA.

Police from Haliburton and the City of Kawartha Lakes executed six warrants in the Haliburton Highlands, Oshawa and Scarborough last Thursday, using helicopters and police dogs. They also had assistance from their Tactics and Rescue Unit and Emergency Response Team.

One eye witness to a bust in Carnarvon said she was awakened before dawn to the sound of a helicopter. When she went outside to investigate, the woman [who asked not to be identified for safety reasons] said she saw a home along Highway 35, just north of the village being swarmed by police.

“I was happy they got them,” she said. “We have children around here.”

In addition to locals, several GTA residents were also arrested and charged under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

Sergeant Jason Folz, Central Region media relations and community services coordinator, said Tuesday that the drug trafficking investigation also “led police to identify a significant property crime network that was directly linked to the accused.”

He said police recovered stolen property that had been taken from both residential and commercial properties in Haliburton County. He added that during the course of the investigation, police seized 400 grams of cocaine/crack cocaine, two grams of Fentanyl, nine long guns, two black powder revolver firearms, one revolver firearm, one replica hand gun and more than $12,000. Police were also able to recover stolen property, including generators, power tools and solar panels.

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