What do you know about Canadian gangs?

The recent police raids on Five Point Generalz street gang members has resulted in the largest illegal gun seizure in the history of the Toronto Police. During the raids, 78 firearms were seized, along with $1.2 million in illegal drugs, and $184 000 cash. The bust hit the gang hard, arresting 75 people around the GTA.

The operation, known as Project Patton, has been investigating the 5PG for nine months. The raids themselves were triggered by a seizure of 60 firearms between Cornwall and Toronto. The brand-new guns had been smuggled across the border all the way form Florida. They were meant to be sold on the streets in Toronto for an estimated $200 000, and many are brightly coloured and “toy-like”.

Now, you may not be from Toronto and may be thinking who are these 5PG, why should I care? Or you may be from Toronto like me and thinking why have I never heard of these guys before? Well folks, these are the worst of the worst apparently. Responsible for the most gun violence in the city’s northwest end, this gang grew out of the drug trade in a low-income neighbourhood near Weston Road in the late ‘90s. It now has ties to the Caribbean and United States, from whom they are supplied with drugs and guns respectively.

Since the ‘90s, the Generalz have been linked to some of the worst homicides in the city, including the shooting death of a child at a street party 11 years ago. Now that’s a story I do remember because I was the same age as the kid when it happened. Shortly before that was the Boxing Day shooting where a 15-year-old girl was shot and killed.

It seems I do know the gang, I just didn’t realize it. See, Toronto, like any big city out there, has its share of gun violence, but I never realized how much of the violence I’ve heard about has been the work of one organization. The raids conducted this June were an attempt to target the highest profile members of the gang, and the seizures were a joint effort between the police from Cornwall, Halton, Waterloo, London, Barrie, Durham, Windsor and the border services, as well as Toronto Police.

So, what are some other historical Canadian gangs to keep you up at night? With a diverse history like ours, you better believe we’ve had every type of crime organization imaginable.

Well, we all know about the Quebec Mafia. If you’ve listened to much news at all over any of your time being alive you’ve heard it mentioned many times. This is especially true if you’ve heard anything in the last five years about corruption in the Quebec construction industry, which story includes contract buyouts, bribes, and mob-controlled unions.

Toronto has also seen its share of Italian mafia families. In fact, Commisso Bros., one of the best places in the city to get Italian baked goods and food, has been at the centre of mafia confrontations more than once, my mother even claims it was bombed when she was a child. But trust me when I say the food there is fantastic.

Then, let’s not forget about the biker gangs that have been so well served by the unending highways of our country, from the Hell’s Angels to the Bandidos. The Hell’s Angels control the majority of the drug trade in Western Canada as well as prostitution, theft, money laundering… really just think of something illegal and they’ve got a team on it!

Finally, what would a list of gangs be without mentioning some of BC’s. This province has got a lot going on from the FOB gang, one of the most violent, to the Red Scorpions, to the United Nations gang (how diverse and open-minded).

IF you’re in the market for some crazy stories try googling some of these, just get your work done first because you will get hooked!

Fun fact: In 2017, the OPP’s Project Hope seized 1,062 kilograms of pure cocaine. That’s about $250m worth of drugs!

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