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Toronto Toronto police arrest dozens of alleged gang members in ‘surgical’ early morning raids

Toronto police executed more than 50 search and arrest warrants across the GTA Thursday morning, the result of a nine-month-long investigation of the west-end street gang, the Five Point Generalz.

Chief Mark Saunders said 70 people were arrested and a “significant number of firearms and large quantities” of drugs were seized. More than 800 officers were involved in what Chief Saunders called a “surgical” operation that made arrests in Toronto, Durham, York and Peel regions.

He said the gang was involved in shootings, as well as producing and selling drugs. He did not name any specific cases the gang is allegedly involved in.

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The Generalz began in North York in the late nineties as a small group of teens and twenty-somethings selling crack cocaine, but Chief Saunders said their activities now extend throughout Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

The gang has allegedly been linked to multiple killings in the past two decades, including the deaths of 11-year-old Ephraim Brown in July, 2007, and 18-year-old Amon Beckles in November, 2005, who was shot on the steps of the church where he was attending the funeral of his best friend, who had also been shot to death.

Chief Saunders said the arrests knocked out much of the gang’s leadership.

“We have dismantled a significant portion of this street gang,” he said, although “there is still a lot more work to do.”

The first court hearings for suspects arrested began on Thursday morning. Chief Saunders said more arrests were coming and more details on the investigation would be revealed at a news conference Friday morning.

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