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New Tecumseth male charged in cross border cocaine bust

Posted April 3, 2019

The OPP announced this morning results of a 15 month intercontinental investigation tagged Project Tattler which culminated with three arrests and seizure of approximately 55 kilograms of near-pure cocaine.

Details of Project Tattler were provided by OPP Deputy Commissioner Rick Barnum at a news conference this morning in Barrie where he noted the investigation included the OPP-led Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and specialty support units, the Provincial Asset Forfeiture Unit, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), and the United States - Department of Homeland Security Investigations (DHSI).

It began in December 2017 as an Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) project based on "a mounting and inherent drug trend being observed."

"The investigation team gathered evidence of individuals from central Ontario smuggling cocaine from the United States (California) into Canada and then distributing it throughout central and western Ontario and in the Greater Toronto Area," according to police.

"The drug distribution network had an international nexus to the United States, with proceeds being dispersed throughout the complex organization in Ontario, as well as money linked flowing back to Mexico. During the investigation, police seized 55 kilogram 'bricks' of cocaine (wholesale value $2.45-million; estimated potential minimum street value once cut of $5.5-million) and $800,000 in Canadian currency."

A pick-up truck, a tractor trailer, and three off-road vehicles, including two 'high-end' side-by-sides and a snowmobile - all worth a combined $260,000 were seized as proceeds of crime and offence-related property.

Abrahan Brito, 32, of New Tecumseth is charged with Importation of a Sched I Substance into Canada; Trafficking in a Sched I Substance; Possession of Property or any Proceeds Obtained by Crime; and Any Conspiracy, or Attempt to Commit an indictable offence.

Michael Nagtzaam, 35, of Springwater Township, is charged with Importation of Schedule I Substance into Canada; Trafficking in a Schedule I Substance; Possession of Property or any Proceeds Obtained by Crime; Laundering Proceeds of Crime; Any Conspiracy, or Attempt to Commit an indictable offence; and Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking.

Slobodan Poznic, 44, of Kitchener-Waterloo, is charged with Possession of a Schedule I Substance, Cocaine, for the purpose of trafficking; Importation of a Schedule I Substance, Cocaine; Possession of Property obtained by crime; and Any Conspiracy, or Attempt to Commit an indictable offence

Poznic appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Windsor at an earlier date. Brito and Nagtzaam are expected to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in Kitchener on April 12, 2019.

The investigation continues.



OPP photos: Pictured above and below the speaker box concealing the cocaine inside the tractor trailer.


All stories, unless otherwise noted,
by Tony Veltri