A years-long investigation that started in Winnipeg, but stretched as far as Colombia and Greece, has led to charges for 22 people — and netted police a cache of guns and nearly 150 kilograms of hard drugs.
Project Divergent started in 2018 when a criminal analyst with Manitoba RCMP noticed trends in drugs being imported into Canada.
Police say they worked with law enforcement partners across Canada and around the world to get inside the criminal networks, finding huge volumes of drugs being moved into the country, including a connection with the Hells Angels.
Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy, commanding officer of the Manitoba RCMP, said that late last month, Mounties executed several search warrants in B.C., Manitoba and Ontario.
The police actions included the arrest in Ontario of Damion Ryan, 41, a full-patch B.C. Hells Angels member with a chapter in Greece.
“We know that outlaw motorcycle gangs exist in every province of Canada — they interconnect across provincial, municipal jurisdictions and have national and international connections and associations,” MacLatchy said at a Tuesday press conference in Winnipeg.
“They seek to make a profit whenever and however they can and are without a doubt a serious criminal threat in Canada.
“By running this operation and bringing it to a conclusion, we’ve been able to cause a large disruption to the flow of drugs and guns into the country.”
In all police seized 110 kilograms of cocaine, 41 kg of meth, 3 kg of fentanyl, and 19 guns — including 5 assault-style rifles.
The investigation led to 20 arrests, including 17 people from Manitoba and two from British Columbia.
RCMP say two suspects remain at large and investigators are asking for the public’s help tracking them down.
Kieffer Michael Kramar, 30, is from Winnipeg, but police believe he could be anywhere in Canada.
Denis Ivziku, 24, is from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia and is believed to still be in that area.
Anyone with information about the whereabouts of either suspect is asked to call RCMP at 204-983-5420.
— with files from Skylar Peters
#rcmpmb Project Divergent: Hells Angels, international police forces, 22 charged. Nearly 150 kilograms of drugs seized & a number of firearms recovered: https://t.co/hOCjDR4mbZ pic.twitter.com/hISyuBAlGG
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) March 29, 2022
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