“Now we are seen as drug dealers and that’s not true,” she says. “The people they arrested, they weren’t all from Dixon. Let’s be honest. They weren’t all Somalians.”
June 23, 2012: At 6:48 p.m., Toronto police are called to an upscale condo tower in the north end, near Yonge Street. Hussein Hussein, 28, was already dead, killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest. The Somali-Canadian’s death remains unsolved, one of about 50 unresolved homicides of Somali-Canadian men in Alberta and Ontario over the past decade. In the same month, Toronto police begin Project Traveller, an extensive probe focusing on the Dixon City Bloods gang and its ties to the Toronto drug trade and gun smugglers in Windsor.
Oct. 1, 2012: Toronto police obtain warrants to search for text messages, photos, video and incoming and outgoing calls on a BlackBerry and iPhone belonging to a 28-year-old man arrested two months earlier for gun trafficking. As a result of their data mining, police identify 11 people they want to track, including Mohamed Siad.
April 3, 2013: A woman nicknamed Princess calls Abdullahi Harun, 23, an accused member of the Dixon City Bloods. Unknown to the gang, police have been monitoring its phone conversations since March 18. Police allege Princess, identified as Elena Basso in police affidavits, asks Mr. Harun to sell her a half ball of cocaine. Ms. Basso is a long-time friend of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford. The cocaine, Mr. Harun says, belonged to Anthony Smith, killed outside a downtown night club just days earlier. The money will allegedly be used to help Mr. Smith’s family.
June 13, 2013: Toronto police descend on the Dixon towers before dawn, busting into 14 apartments, searching for drugs, guns, cash, phones and computers. Numerous other homes in Toronto and Windsor are also searched in the Project Traveller raids, along with a residence in Edmonton. About 60 people are arrested, including Mr. Siad, Mr. Harun and two brothers of the slain Mr. Hussein. In a media conference on the take down of the Dixon City Bloods, police announce they seized $3-million worth of drugs, 40 guns and $572,000. – Renata D’Aliesio