OFF THE WIRE
CAMBRIDGE Police arrested nine people – seven in Cambridge -- and seized large quantities of cocaine and marijuana in a two-province investigation targeting a member of the Hells Angels.
The arrests, seven in Cambridge and two in Newfoundland, came Friday, the culmination of a four-month joint investigation between Waterloo Regional Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
“These types of investigations are very sophisticated,” said Insp. Greg Lamport, spokesperson for the Waterloo Regional Police. “We’re dealing with organized crime, so it does take a lot of hours.”
Police recovered five kilograms of cocaine, 1.36 kgs of marijuana, three vehicles and $132,000 in cash. Police also destroyed three hydroponic growing operations, seizing another 263 marijuana plants.
Lamport called the results of the investigation significant.
“We’re obviously very pleased with the results,” he said.
As part of the operation, police executed search warrants in and around Kitchener, Cambridge and New Hamburg.
Hells Angels gang member Larry Chaves, 32, of Cambridge numbered among the arrests. His charges include trafficking of both marijuana and cocaine, possession for the purposes of trafficking, marijuana production and conspiracy to traffic.
Lamport said the arrests reinforce the need to be vigilant in the services’ efforts to combat organized crime and drug trafficking. While the Hells Angels might not be as visibly active in the region as they once were, Lamport said they remain a concern.
“They’re an active group with membership in Waterloo Region,” he said.
He added, “They’re not the only gang the biker enforcement unit (a branch of the OPP that targets motorcycle gangs) investigates.”
Six other people arrested locally were all from Cambridge. Their charges range from conspiracy to traffic to possession.
They include Julie Chaves, 36; Meng Troeung, 40; Brian Galway, 40; Colleen Galway, 41; Rita Galway, 62; and Patrick Ezekeil, 56.
Two others, not from the region, were also charged: Scott Hutchings, 41, and Jocelyn Dunn. Police are still looking for three other people in connection with the case.
All of the accused will appear in Kitchener court.
Metroland News Services