Toronto Police have made 41 arrests and laid more than 400 charges against members of two Toronto gangs that have been in a turf war, the Galloway Boys and the Orton Park gang, police say.
Staff Inspector Greg McLane on Friday revealed details of two major police investigations, Project Brazen and Project Quell.
Seven of the 41 people arrested are Orton Park members, while 34 belong to the Galloway Boys. At least seven are underage, according to a press release.
According to police, the charges they face include belonging to a criminal organization.
Project Brazen was launched on April 23, 2012, to investigate multiple shootings in the Southeast Scarborough region, including that of a young man who was not connected to any crimes, police said.
D’Mitre Barnaby, 24, was shot and killed on Dec. 30, 2011, and the investigation revealed that he was murdered because he was mistaken for a gang member.
Police said this week’s arrests are not connected to Mr. Barnaby’s death, which remains a focal point of the investigation.
“The sad thing in all of this is that the investigation into the murder of Mr. Barnaby remains unsolved,” said Staff Insp. McLane. “However, my investigators will continue to investigate this murder to determine who is responsible for his death.”
Project Brazen was also investigating the shooting in September, 2011, of three men inside a Domino’s Pizza on Lawrence Avenue East. All three survived. It also involved an attack two months later on a 25-year-old man who was shot in the neck and torso at the corner of Firth Crescent and Northfield Road in an apparent drug deal. He survived his injuries.
Ramon Williams, 21, and Ad-Ham Khamis, 20, members of the Galloway Boys, were linked to both shootings and charged in September, 2012, with 11 offences, including four counts of attempted murder using a firearm and gun trafficking, police said.
Project Brazen concluded in September, 2012, resulting in the arrest of nine people charged with more than 50 Criminal Code offences relating to attempted murder, trafficking, firearms and drugs.
On Thursday, police executed warrants in the GTA, Waterloo and London and arrested eight people in connection with a Project Quell, a follow-up to Project Brazen, and seized more than 1,200 grams of cocaine and more than $10,000 in cash.
Warrants have been issued for eight other people as a result of this investigation, and they face more than 130 charges, police said.
Nearly 50 charges in connection with the investigations will be laid within the next two weeks against nine people who are in custody for unrelated matters, police said.
This is not the first time Toronto Police has cracked down on the Galloway Boys. In 2004, police launched an investigation called Project Pathfinder after the murder of Brenton Charlton, an innocent man who was believed to have been gunned down in an effort to scare the community.
In May, 2004, police arrested 75 members of the Galloway Boys and charged them with more than 600 criminal offences. In addition, 28 firearms were seized.
Officers refused to speculate on whether any of the accused in Projects Brazen and Quell were involved in a shootout on Danzig Street in Scarborough in July, 2012, in which two people were killed and 23 injured, but acknowledged it triggered investigations into the Galloway Boys and Orton Park.
“There is an overlap between these projects and the project that we ran in relation to the Danzig barbecue,” Staff Inspector McLane said. “That job never stops, that’s something that we continue to do on a daily basis.”