M’Chigeeng, ON, June 24, 2024 — On June 20, 2024, a coordinated effort between the United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin (UCCM) Anishnaabe Police Service and the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) led to a significant drug bust on Hill Street in M’Chigeeng First Nation. The operation, which involved the OPP’s Community Street Crime Unit, Emergency Response Team (ERT), and K9 unit, resulted in the arrest of three individuals and the seizure of illicit drugs valued at approximately $15,000.

The individuals arrested have been identified as Shayla Debassige and Savanah Eshquib, both from M’Chigeeng, and Tasin Rahman from North York. They face multiple charges, including:

  • Production of a Schedule I Substance (CDSA 7(1))
  • Possession of Fentanyl for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA 5(2))
  • Possession of Morphine for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA 5(2))
  • Possession of Zanac for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA 5(2))
  • Possession of Clonazapan for the Purpose of Trafficking (CDSA 5(2))
  • Possession of Property Obtained by Crime (Canadian currency) (CC 354)

Tasin Rahman, who had been previously arrested on March 20, 2024, for similar offences, was also charged with failing to comply with a release order (CC 145(5)). Rahman remains in custody pending a bail hearing, while Debassige and Eshquib have been released with an undertaking to appear in court at a later date.

In a statement regarding the investigation, Chief of Police James Killeen emphasized the critical role the community played. “The investigation ran for a short term, and the information we received was invaluable. The community came through for us. We can’t do our job without the community; the cornerstone is people courageous enough to come forward with information.”

Chief Killeen continued, “I always give credit to informants, regardless of their motivation. It takes a lot of courage to come forward, especially against hardcore criminals who use violence as leverage. When I left Sudbury, I saw firsthand how essential it is to have people willing to come forward—they often never get the credit or acknowledgment they deserve.”

He concluded by highlighting the collaborative effort of the police services involved, “We work in collaboration with all three police services, and this cooperation is vital for the success of our operations.”

Killeen emphasized the importance of community collaboration in maintaining safety and wellness within the community. He stated, “Community safety is a collaborative effort. We need to work together to ensure the protection and overall health of our communities. Drug trafficking invites violence, addiction, and erosion of our communities.”

The UCCM Anishnaabe Police Service, alongside the OPP Community Street Crime Unit and the Wikwemikong Tribal Police Service, continues to focus on major crime operations that threaten community safety. This combined Integrated Street Crime Unit is dedicated to disrupting organized crime on Manitoulin Island through innovative technology, partnerships, and traditional police work.

Chief Killeen urged the public to provide any information regarding criminal activities, drug trafficking, or organized crime. Tips can be directed to the UCCM Police at 705-377-7135 or Sudbury Rainbow Crime Stoppers at 705-222-TIPS (8477), 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or online at www.sudburycrimestoppers.com.

Together, law enforcement and the community aim to make a significant impact in reducing crime and ensuring a safer environment for all residents.

By Jacqueline St. Pierre, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jul 03, 2024 at 23:57

This item reprinted with permission from   Manitoulin Expositor   Little Current, Ontario
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