|More than 800 charges are expected to be laid against 88 people after Toronto-area police say they dismantled the “New Money So Sick Gang,” an organized crime group “responsible for a series of homicides and brazen open-air public shootings.”
“This organization has been linked to some of the most thoughtless violence our community has suffered for the last several years,” Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah said.
“Make no mistake these individuals do not see the time of day, location, you, your family or anyone else as a barrier for violence in the community.”
Project Siphon began in September of last year when investigators in Peel Region started looking into a drug delivery network operating out of Mississauga and Brampton.
As the probe progressed, investigators began to focus their attention on one specific crime group, Deputy Chief Nick Milinovich said.
At a news conference held on Wednesday morning, investigators identified that group to be the “New Money So Sick Gang.”
“This gang was determined to be responsible for the delivery network as part of a large-scale drug trafficking operation across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA),” Milinovich said.
“In addition to the trafficking of large quantities of cocaine and fentanyl, this investigation has also linked the gang to some of our most outrageous incidents of violence, including multiple homicides, attempted homicides, human trafficking, and money laundering.”
Throughout Project Siphon, 83 search warrants were executed across all five regions in the GTA, 88 people were taken into custody and police believe more than 800 charges will be laid as a result.
During the search warrants, investigators said they seized 34 firearms, some of which were fully modified to become automatic high capacity weapons, nearly 1.4 million in Canadian cash, and more than 1.9 million of illegal street drugs, including 1.4 kg of fentanyl, 13.7 kg of cocaine, 1.2 kg of crack, 187 kg of marijuana, and other illegal substances.
More than 500 officers worked on this project, Milinovich said. In additional to members of the Peel Regional Police, officers in Toronto, Hamilton, Durham Region, Waterloo Region, and Halton Region provided assistance, as well as members of the Ontario Provincial Police.
Speaking alongside Milinovich on Wednesday, the police chief called this investigation “unprecedented in terms of resolving multiple murders, the arrest of high-risk individuals and the number of seizures.”
“All of this has an impact on our local community and equally right across the GTA.”
Duraiappah added that Peel Regional Police does not typically “provide notoriety or a platform for street gangs by crediting them by name,” but said “as a result of this investigation we have supported the status of this gang as a criminal organization.”
Police link gang to murder of innocent teenager
At the news conference, Supt. Martin Ottaway provided details on “several violent incidents” police say are connected to the “New Money So Sick Gang,” including a mass shooting that left an innocent 17-year-old boy dead last year.
Just before 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2019, two suspect vehicles drove to the rear of an apartment complex on Darcel Avenue, located in the area of Morning Star and Goreway drives. According to police, seven suspects got out of the vehicles and opened fire at a group of males. More than 100 shell casings were located at the scene and six people were struck by gunfire.
The victims included three innocent bystanders, one of whom died at the scene.
“Jonathan Davis was not involved with any gang crime and was an innocent victim who found himself caught in the middle of gunfire,” Ottaway said on Wednesday.
“As a result of our investigation to date, we believe that ‘New Money So Sick Gang’ members attended the apartment building to retaliate in an ongoing gang conflict.”
Those who knew Davis have described him as a mild-mannered, polite boy, who was always kind to his siblings.
Video of the mass shooting was released in July of this year as police announced two arrests in the case and confirmed it was forensically linked to another homicide.
Just before 10 p.m. on Oct. 22, 2019, four people inside a vehicle were shot at as another vehicle pulled up alongside them on Derry Road near Highway 410 in Mississauga.
Giovanni Delahaye was killed in the shooting and the three others in the vehicle with him were seriously injured.
Police have previously said the 28-year-old was the intended target.
The vehicle used in Highway 410 shooting was also used in the Darcel Avenue incident, according to investigators.
On Wednesday, Ottaway detailed another Mississauga murder that took place on Aug. 3, 2020.
Just after 9:30 p.m., Abdifatah Salah was outside of a home on Huntington Ridge Drive when he was struck in the head by a single bullet. He was pronounced dead in hospital two days later.
“Investigation has revealed that the victim was a frequent of ‘Sickspensary,’ which is an illegal mobile cannabis operation operating in the region of Peel by ‘New Money So Sick Gang’ members,” Ottaway said.
“It is the investigators belief that the victim’s association with ‘Sickspensary’ was a factor in his murder.”
Furthermore, Ottaway said the attempted murder of a man in Nobelton on Oct. 29 of this year is also connected to the street gang.
70 rounds fired off at cemetery
As the investigation into this organized crime group continues, police said they are probing a shooting incident that took place at a cemetery in Brampton on Aug. 31 of this year.
According to Ottaway, members of the “New Money So Sick Gang” were celebrating the birthday of one of their friends who was murdered in 2016 when “several unknown suspects” opened fire on them.
“It resulted in a gun battle where over 70 round were fired,” he said.
Three people were struck by gunfire and were transported to hospital for treatment.
Ottaway said the investigation into this incident is ongoing and further arrests are anticipated.
Also on Wednesday, officers with Peel Regional Police detailed the service’s new gun and gang reduction strategy they say is “built upon the framework of community safety and well-being.”
To compliment strong enforcement, Duraiappah, said the service recognizes there must also be investments made in social development and prevention programs for at-risk youth and the community at large.