Local Arrests in a $4.45 Million County-Wide Drug Bust

Three of the Sault face numerous charges after 24 search warrants executed in Ontario last Friday

During Project Lancia, a six-month joint investigation involving the Sault Ste. Marie Police and led by the Durham Regional Police.

Last Friday, 24 search warrants were executed at locations in Ontario, including Sault Ste. Marie, states a press release issued today.

Three people from Sault Ste. As a result, Marie faces a number of charges.

Kim Morningstar, age 50:
• trade in cocaine
• trade in crystal meth
• possession of cocaine with a view to human trafficking x2
• possesses crystal meth with a view to human trafficking x2
• possession of fentanyl for the purpose of human trafficking
• conspiracy to commit and criminal offence
• possession of cannabis for the purpose of distribution
• possession of other controlled drugs for the purpose of trafficking in human beings

Destiny Nieminen, 25 years old:
• trade in cocaine
• possession of cocaine with a view to human trafficking x2
• possesses crystal meth with a view to human trafficking x2
• possession of fentanyl for the purpose of human trafficking
• conspiracy to commit and criminal offence

Kerri Peplow, 44 years old:
• trade in cocaine
• trade in crystal meth

Sault Police also made an arrest in Bainbridge Street in January in connection with Project Lancia, resulting in the seizure of $466,000 in narcotics, the largest in the history of the Sault Ste. Marine Police Service.

“I would like to start by thanking our partner agencies, and of course our officers who have devoted many hours to this project,” Chief Hugh Stevenson said in a statement on social media. “This has been an extensive investigation over the past six months, and I am proud to say that our members have been integral to the success of the project. Their professionalism and dedication have helped to bring more poison out of our streets and the streets from surrounding communities. This project has saved lives.”

“Project Lancia targeted a drug smuggling network operating across the province of Ontario,” the press release said. “Individuals were involved in the distribution of fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine and illicit cannabis products.”

A total of 31 search warrants were executed during Project Lancia, resulting in 24 arrests and 183 drug and firearms charges. In addition to $4.45 million in drugs, nine firearms, $221,000 in cash and five motor vehicles were seized.

The investigation was a joint project with the Durham Regional Police Service, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service, the Peterborough Police Service, the Brantford Police Service and the Criminal Intelligence Service Ontario (CISO).

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