RCMP have made more than 20 arrests in connection to a criminal network centered in Manitoba that was distributing drugs and weapons.
Project Dawgpound was initiated in May of last year after 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.
The intent of Project Dawgpound was to disrupt the network of the primary Winnipeg target. In total, the project resulted in more than $2.5 million in drug value removed from circulation, as well as getting 19 firearms out of the hands of gang members and drug traffickers.
Thirty-six-year-old Hue Ha 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, Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area, Moncton and Prince Edward Island.
RCMP say 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. Fifty-year-old Donovan Sired 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 psilocybin (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.
The investigation continues.