Cash, cocaine, marijuana, crack and a taser-like device were all seized Friday morning in a drug bust on Algoma Street.
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Thunder Bay police have three Quebec men with ties to Montreal street gangs in custody following an early-morning drug bust that netted $53,000 in cocaine, crack cocaine and marijuana.
The police service's guns and gangs unit, with the assistance of the emergency task unit, made the bust in the 100-block of Algoma Street early Friday morning, entering the subjects’ apartment just before 7 a.m.
Drugs seized included about 100 grams of crack cocaine, 220 grams of powdered cocaine, six grams of marijuana and more than $76,000 in cash.
Police also recovered a stun gun and false IDs for two of the three men arrested.
Staff Sgt. Murray Brown said the bust should make a big dent in the local drug trade. It's not uncommon for out-of-town dealers to land in Thunder Bay, he added.
"As we all know, drugs are a high commodity and (are worth) lots of money," Brown said. "Unfortunately some (dealers) head west and set up shop in Thunder Bay. But we get information and investigate them, like we do every other crime group."
Thunder Bay is no different than any other community in that regard.
"Drug traffickers, they go where the market is. If they deem it necessary to travel, they don't have any boundaries, so they just travel where they're needed, where the supply is required and they start selling."
Brown said the suspects, who he deemed mid-level dealers, have been on police radar for some time, and no other arrests are excpected.
"They moved quite a bit of cocaine at a time," Brown said.
It's a significant haul, police said. The money seized indicates a lot more drugs had already been moved.
"The individuals involved were a group of individuals who had a really slick operation, or so they thought. They were using false identification to thwart police investigation and we were successful in investigating them and bringing them before the courts," Brown said.
The taser was likely used to protect the alleged dealers from other dealers, the public and even police.
Twenty-eight-year-old Nardine Messar faces several charges, including trafficking cocaine, possession of marijuana, proceeds of crime over $5,000, forgery and breach of probation.
Brendan John Minshull, 26, faces two additional charges, possession of a firearm while prohibited and unauthorized possession of a firearm. Mohamed Ourdzine is charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of marijuana and proceeds of crime over $5,000.
One of the alleged probation breaches stems from Quebec, the other from Thunder Bay, though police said all three men arrested claim Montreal addresses.
The suspects, who remain in custody, are expected to appear in court on Monday via video remand.
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