Project Barnacle disrupts organized crime group, with multiple arrests and seizures of guns, drugs, vehicles and cash in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador – Project Barnacle, an organized crime investigation led by RCMP NL, has significantly disrupted a highly organized group of individuals involved in inter-provincial drug trafficking and money laundering. On February 11, 2021, the RCMP NL Federal Serious Organized Crime Unit, with assistance from the RCMP NL Emergency Response Team, Holyrood and Harbour Grace Detachments, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the Ontario RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit, executed search warrants at five residences.

The warrants were served at homes in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Ontario – one home in Torbay, two in St. John’s, one in Etobicoke and one in Mississauga – in follow up to the seizure of a total of four kilograms of cocaine in St. John’s and Etobicoke on January 18, 2021, as announced here:

“With drugs come violence and other criminal activities that are a threat to our communities,” said Inspector Stefan Thoms, Officer in Charge of RCMP NL Federal Serious and Organized Crime. “Project Barnacle reflects our priority to combat this threat through the disruption of the organized crime groups responsible for the distribution of illegal drugs into this province. We will continue our work to stop the criminals involved and lay charges wherever appropriate.”

Project Barnacle
(RCMP) Project Barnacle

In addition to the four kilograms of cocaine and other items seized in January, Project Barnacle resulted in the following seizures and arrests:

Seized in Newfoundland and Labrador

A stolen glock handgun

Five long guns, including an unsecured modified semi-automatic rifle next to a bed

Approximately 10,000 rounds of ammunition

Approximately 12 lbs of MDMA (ecstasy), one of the largest amounts ever seized in Newfoundland and Labrador

An estimated $250,000 in cash, believed to be the proceeds of crime

Nine vehicles, including a five-ton truck, skid steer, cars, pickup trucks and a side by side all-terrain vehicle

An undisclosed number of prescription pills believed to have been obtained illegally

A small amount of cocaine

Two credit card readers

Money counter, vacuum sealer and other items indicative of drug trafficking and money laundering

High end jewellery

Financial documents

Numerous electronic devices

Two men and one woman were arrested.

Seized in Ontario

Approximately $10,000 cash

One vehicle

Financial documents

Numerous electronic devices

Other items indicative of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Two Ontario men and a woman were arrested.

All individuals who were arrested have since been released pending further investigation. Further arrests are anticipated and more information will be released at a later date.

The RCMP NL Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit targets criminal activity involving national security, transnational and serious organized crime and cyber crime throughout the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador.


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