15 people are currently being arrested as part of a joint forces Drug Unit operation. In April of this year, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Services along with the RCMP and the Anishinabek Police Service teamed together to clamp down on the drug trade in the City.
Early this morning officers from all three agencies began making early morning arrests after working together on a two month investigation known as “Project Reno”
Project Reno focused mainly on the downtown area of the city as well as Garden River.
The project has resulted in 15 arrest warrants ranging in age from 19 to 64 years of age. 37 charges of trafficking , during the project officers seized cocaine, marijuana, morphine, percocets, oxycontin and fentanyl. The estimated street value is pegged at $20,000
Project Reno began after the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service launched the community mobilization office now known as the Neighbourhood Resource Centre on Gore Street. Enforcement was directed at those individuals who choose to deal drugs.
Police Services in Ontario are engaging in a new style of policing where social agencies are also involved in getting to the root causes of crime.
Community mobilization involves working with community agencies and residents to deal with underlying issues such as addiction and mental health issues, but it still involves targeting criminal activity as well.
All Police Services realize the problems associated with addictions however, police cannot turn a blind eye to illicit drug dealing.
Project Reno was a street level project with local drug dealers being targeted.
Addictions can present several challenges and the police in partnership with several agencies in the community and area are able to assist persons in dealing with the underlying issues that can cause crime and illegal activities.
The Neighbourhood Resource Centre, located at 138B Gore Street, is able to assist those who are looking at working through and addressing problems associated with overcoming addictions including illicit drug use.
Officers are continuing to work on this project and complete the remaining arrests.
Later today the names of those charged and their court dates will be released.