A full-patch member of the Hells Angels is among 22 people who have been charged by Manitoba RCMP as part of a four-year investigation leading to what Mounties say is the biggest drug seizure they’ve been involved with.
On Tuesday, Mounties announced the results of Project Divergent, a national and international operation “focused on the importation and distribution of illicit guns and drugs.”
Insp. Grant Stephen, officer in charge of federal, serious and organized crime with Manitoba RCMP, said it was the “largest drug seizure in Manitoba RCMP history.”
During the investigation, officers seized 110 kilograms of cocaine, 41.4 kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms of fentanyl, and half a kilogram of MDMA. Stephen said the estimated street value of all the drugs seized totalled $70 million.
Officers also seized 14 handguns, five assault-style rifles and more than $445,000 in Canadian money.
“I provide you with this context not to wow you at this seizure, but to show how many people could have been affected by this illicit product, and not only affected, but potentially killed,” he said.
Jane MacLatchy, assistant commissioner of the Manitoba RCMP, said the arrests made, which include one member of an outlaw biker gang, will have a significant impact.
“We’ve been able to cause a large disruption in the flow of guns and drugs in the country,” she said.
RCMP said Project Divergent started in 2018 after officers noticed trends of international drug importation in the country. During the investigation, RCMP and other police agencies said they saw large-volume transactions of cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl and assault-style firearms, and discovered a connection with the Hells Angels.
Damion Ryan, 41, who RCMP says is a full-patch Hells Angels member for the motorcycle gang’s Attica chapter in Greece, was arrested in Ontario in February and is facing numerous charges related to firearms and drug trafficking.
“He has tremendous reach into different networks, both in Canada and internationally,” said Stephen