Montreal Quebec – In February 2015, the RCMP in Valleyfield was assigned to dismantle various criminal organizations involved in the trafficking of cocaine and contraband tobacco and cannabis in Akwesasne, Quebec, Ontario and the Atlantic provinces.
The legal challenges were complex, as investigators called in the Public Prosecution Service of Canada, an undercover agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Plattsburgh, and 26 trained undercover agents. Using the “Mr. Big” approach, the RCMP created a fake criminal group that specialized in the transportation of contraband, sending their undercover agents to infiltrate various targeted networks, which allowed police to access the crime rings’ communications systems.
The logistics involved were enormous, and during the 13-month investigation, 180 warrants were issued, resulting in the seizure of 231 kilos of cocaine, 71 pounds of cannabis, $318,000 in cash, 77,610 kilos of tobacco and more than 10 million contraband cigarettes.
Police also raided the residence of the head of the criminal network, as part of a wave of arrests that resulted in 30 individuals charged with a multitude of offenses, including possession and trafficking of cocaine, methamphetamines, cannabis and contraband tobacco.
For the creativity that went into the group’s investigative techniques, for their commitment, focus and exemplary planning that reaped enormous results, 2018 Quebec Police Awards are presented to David Michaud and Stéphane Viau of the RCMP, as well as a team of undercover agents who cannot be identified. Honorary awards in recognition of their important collaboration are also presented to Special Agent Mike Laravia of the DEA and to Prosecutor Guillaume Lemay of the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.