Local MP has family connection to 'large' St. Thomas, Ont. drug bust
Drugs, weapons and cash seized in St. Thomas, Ont. on Thursday, July 2, 2020 are seen in this image released by the St. Thomas Police Service.
MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Two people are facing charges after several firearms and $35,500 worth of drugs were seized from a Talbot Street apartment around midday on Thursday.
A local member of parliament issued a statement Friday confirming a link to one of the accused.
Elgin-Middlesex-London MP Karen Vecchio released the statements on Facebook.
She stated, "Sadly, I have a personal connection to this case as a family member has been arrested. I ask that the privacy of my family and I are respected at this difficult time."
In a later statement she added, "As an elected official, I strongly believe in transparency. At no point did I or my family request a publication ban."
A customary section 517 bail hearing ban was placed on the proceedings.
St. Thomas police said the seizure and charges follow a lengthy investigation.
Chief Chris Herridge said in a statement this large bust puts drug dealers on notice, and the force "will not let up."
“This investigation is a direct result of the ongoing commitment by members of the St. Thomas Police Service to crack down on drugs, guns and violent crime in our community…I would like to thank the dedicated members of our organization for their relentless efforts to protect the citizens of St. Thomas.”
Among the items seized were:
- $24,500 in cash
- over 280 grams of methamphetamine
- over 25 grams of cocaine and crack cocaine
- purple fentanyl
- hydromorphone, oxycodone and Xanax tablets
Also seized were a bulletproof vest, several knives and firearms including:
- Mossberg 715T, .22 calibre loaded firearm, serial numbers scratched off
- Remington 1911 R1S semi-automatic 45 calibre handgun, serial numbers scratched off
- Smith and Wesson SD9VE 9 millimeter handgun, serial numbers scratched off
- CQ-A .223 calibre semi-automatic rifle with barrel suppressor and prohibited magazine
- Mako replica firearm
A 31-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were arrested at the scene and both are facing charges including:
- production of a controlled substance
- six counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking
- four counts of careless storage of a firearm
- four counts of unauthorized possession of a firearm
- three counts of tampering with serial number of firearm
- four counts of possession of firearm contrary to prohibition order
- three counts of possession of a restricted firearm
- possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition
- two counts of possession of a prohibited device
- four counts of possession of ammunition
The man is additionally charged with 11 counts of breach of recognizance and five counts of breach of probation.