Winnipeg, Manitoba – March 14, 2023, Winnipeg, Manitoba – Intelligence gathered by the Manitoba RCMP Criminal Intelligence Section and Divisional Criminal Analysts Section led investigators with the Manitoba Organized Crime Unit to identify a multi-kilo, multi-commodity trafficker operating out of Winnipeg.
Once officers became aware of the network involved, a full-scale project, called Project Dawgpound, was initiated in May 2022, with the intent to disrupt the network of the primary Winnipeg target. In total, the project resulted in more than two and a half million dollars in drug value removed from circulation, as well as getting 19 firearms out of the hands of gang members and drug traffickers.
Hue Ha, 36, from Winnipeg, was identified as the orchestrator of large amounts of cocaine coming into the province from Ontario. Investigators discovered Ha or a designate would often go to Ontario to pick up drugs and unstamped cigarettes and bring them back to Manitoba.
Ha’s network was centred in Manitoba and reached into many communities throughout the province, including Winnipeg, Brandon, Poplar River, St. Laurent, Ashern, Fairford, and Gypsumville. Outside of the province, the network reached into Vancouver; Calgary; Pickering, ON; Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area; Moncton, NB; and Prince Edward Island.
It became apparent that Ha had information regarding police enforcement plans, and police narrowed that leak down to a specific investigator within the Manitoba Finance Special Investigations Unit. Donovan Sired, 50, from Winnipeg, was arrested and charged with Bribery of Officers, Breach of Trust by Public Officer, and Conspiracy to Evade Payment.
Ha was arrested and faces numerous charges from conspiracy to trafficking. He remains in custody. Twenty other individuals, residents of both Manitoba and Ontario, were arrested and are facing charges in relation to Project Dawgpound, including a Corps of Commissionaires guard at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg.
In total, Project Dawgpound investigators seized large amounts of various drugs, including 7.8 kilograms of cocaine, 327 tablets of MDMA, 13.82 kilograms of crystal MDMA, 116 grams of purple down, 139.45 grams of carfentanil, 2.06 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine, and 5 kilograms of psilcocybin (mushrooms). Investigators also seized firearms, vehicles, electronic devices, a large amount of drug trafficking paraphernalia, and Crazy Indians gang patches. The contraband cigarette portion of the operation would have yielded the Manitoba taxpayer $1.47 million in tax revenue.
“Project Dawgpound yielded fantastic results and got a kilo-level trafficker and his network off the streets,” said Inspector Grant Stephen, Officer in Charge of Federal, Serious and Organized Crime for the Manitoba RCMP. “We will continue to enforce against the illegal drug trade and disrupt networks that often lead to or are connected with organized crime in the interest of creating a safer Manitoba and a safer Canada.”
The investigation continues.
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