RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency Execute Search Warrants, Make Arrests

    Project MUSKRAT has been ongoing since December 2017. This investigation was initially focused on a number of persons who were believed to be trafficking drugs.

    On Wednesday, November 4th, 2020 the Yukon RCMP and Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) announced the execution of a number of search warrants at multiple Whitehorse locations. The previous release can be found here.

    We are now able to release further information about this investigation leading up to the execution of the search warrants.

    Background

    Project MUSKRAT has been ongoing since December 2017. This investigation was initially focused on a number of persons who were believed to be trafficking drugs. Yukon RCMP's Federal Investigation Unit engaged the Canada Revenue Agency in August 2019 to investigate what were believed to be tax offences against one of the individuals already being investigated for drug offences.

    Through investigation, Yukon RCMP identified numerous offences that violated the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and Criminal Code. Search warrants for businesses and residences connected to these crimes were obtained. A joint operation between the RCMP and CRA, supported by numerous units including the Crime Reduction Unit and the Critical Incident Program, saw them executed on November 4th.

    Searches conducted on November 4, 2020

    The successful searches of various locations in Whitehorse resulted in a number of arrests, charges being laid, and the seizure of drugs, large amounts of cash, prohibited weapons, stolen property and other evidence to support the charges laid.

    "Investigation into these individuals and some associated businesses revealed that the serious crimes taking place were having a negative impact not only on Yukon's vulnerable population, but on the local economy," said Chief Superintendent Scott Sheppard, Commanding Officer of Yukon RCMP.

    "The RCMP believes these individuals and business were involved not only in trafficking drugs, but in money laundering. Our officers recovered items that had been stolen from a local business, as well as approximately $450,000 in cash."

    A search of a residence on Coho Trail in Whitehorse yielded:

    • An amount of suspected cocaine;
    • A sum of cash;
    • A loaded handgun;
    • Stolen property;
    • Various vehicles.

    A search of a residence on Ketza Road in Whitehorse yielded:

    • An amount of suspected cocaine;
    • Drug paraphernalia;
    • A sum of cash.

    A search of a business on Main Street in Whitehorse yielded:

    • An amount of suspected cocaine;
    • An amount of suspected methamphetamine;
    • A sum of cash.

    A search of a residence on Chakawana Lane in Whitehorse yielded:

    • A prohibited high capacity magazine;
    • A sum of cash.

    A search of a storage locker in Whitehorse yielded:

    • A prohibited high capacity magazine;
    • A conducted energy weapon.

    A search of a residence on Aksala Drive in Whitehorse yielded:

    • An amount of suspected cocaine;
    • A sum of cash.

    Charges laid against persons involved

    Yukon RCMP have charged 5 people in connection with this investigation thus far.

    Levy Blanchard, age 39, was arrested and charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA):

    • Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking contrary to S. 5(2) of the CDSA;
    • Numerous Firearms Offences contrary to the Criminal Code;
    • Possession of Property obtained by Crime over $5000 contrary to S. 354(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

    Mr. Blanchard appeared in court on November 5th, 2020, and was released on conditions. He appeared in court again on November 18th, 2020.

    Celia Wright, age 29, was arrested and charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

    • Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking contrary to S. 5(2) of the CDSA;
    • Numerous Firearms Offences contrary to the Criminal Code;
    • Possession of Property obtained by Crime over $5000 contrary to S. 354(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

    Ms. Wright appeared in court on November 5th, 2020, and was released on conditions. She appeared in court again on November 18th, 2020.

    Sylvio Lin, age 32, was arrested and charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

    • Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking contrary to S. 5(2) of the CDSA;
    • Numerous Firearms Offences contrary to the Criminal Code;
    • Possession of Property obtained by Crime over $5000 contrary to S. 354(1)(a) of the Criminal Code;
    • Money Laundering contrary to S. 462.31(2) of the Criminal Code.

    Mr. Lin appeared in court on November 5th, 2020, and was released on conditions. He will next appear on December 9th, 2020.

    Johnny Mak, age 33, was arrested and charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code and Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

    • Possession of Cocaine for the Purpose of Trafficking contrary to S. 5(2) of the CDSA;
    • Possession of Property obtained by Crime over $5000 contrary to S. 354(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.

    Mr. Mak appeared in court on November 5th, 2020, and was released on conditions. He appeared in court again on November 18th, 2020.

    Melody Grini-Blanchard, age 29, was arrested and charged with the following offences under the Criminal Code:

    • Possession of Property obtained by Crime over $5000 contrary to S. 354(1)(a) of the Criminal Code.
    • Two counts of possession of a Prohibited Device contrary to S. 92(2) of the Criminal Code.
    • Possession of a Prohibited Weapon contrary to S. 92(2) of the Criminal Code.

    Ms. Grini-Blanchard was released by way of an Undertaking given to a Peace Officer. She will next appear in court on January 11th, 2021.

    Yukon RCMP and the Canada Revenue agency would like to thank all organizations involved in this investigation, including the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada and the Forensic Accounting Management Group.

    The investigation is ongoing and further updates may follow as evidence continues to be gathered.

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