Firearms, Drugs and Currency Seized During Project STRONG
Hamilton Police are releasing the results of Project STRONG, a four-month investigation into drug and gun activity in Hamilton.
Launched in December 2020, Project STRONG was created in response to an increase in shootings and violent crime. Last year, there were 51 shootings in Hamilton, including 21 shootings that took place between September-December.
“This project reflected a whole of service approach. Everyone from Patrol to our Guns and Gangs Unit were equipped with information to identify the individuals responsible for the increase in Hamilton’s gun violence,” said Deputy Chief Frank Bergen. “The name Project Strong truly reflected the outcome we were looking to achieve – Stopping Targeted Retaliation of Neighbourhood Gangs.”
Since beginning Project STRONG, there has been a significant decrease in the number of retaliatory shootings between members of low level street gangs and drug traffickers. From January to March 2021, there have been six shooting in Hamilton.
Project STRONG specifically targeted any area in Hamilton with a noted increase in shootings or increased drug trafficking. As a result of the investigation, police seized:
- 23 firearms
- 880+ rounds of ammunition
- 23 weapons
- $350,000 in currency (approximately)
- 4.6 kg cocaine
- 2.5 kg fentanyl
- 645 g MDMA
- 1 kg psilocybin (mushrooms)
- 1.5 kg crystal meth
- 8.6 g heroin
- Over 13,000 pills such as Xanax, ecstasy, oxycodone, codeine, hydromorphone
- 6 kg marijuana
- 1100 ml GHB and Codeine liquid
- 900 packages of THC related products
- dozens of unknown pills for testing
- 6.3 kg of suspected cutting agent
The total street value of the drugs is estimated at $1.8 million. Over the course of the project, there were also 112 individuals charged, 831 charges laid, as well as 87 warrants on residences and vehicles.
Project STRONG reaffirmed the connection between violence, drug activity and guns in the Hamilton community. It also showed a strong presence of low level street gangs that are increasingly using firearms as a means to intimidate others and protect themselves and their product.
“Thanks to Project STRONG, multiple shootings across Hamilton have been resolved and multiple firearms have been seized. This is not the end. We will continue to engage with our community, police partners and leverage our internal networks to share information in order to provide community safety throughout Hamilton,” said Bergen.