Alleged traffickers suspected of being part of a methamphetamine production and distribution network of a scope rarely seen in Quebec have been in the crosshairs of the police since early Thursday morning.

Two hundred police officers, led by investigators from the Mauricie Regional Mixed Squad (ERM), have been carrying out more than thirty searches since Thursday morning in residences, condos, apartments, commercial premises and vehicles in Montreal, Gatineau, Three -Rivières, Saguenay, Laval, Saint-Jérôme, Longueuil, Sainte-Sophie, Saint-Eustache, McMasterville, Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Cleveland and Lavaltrie.

“The central place of network operations is located in a garage-stable, behind a residence in Sainte-Sophie, where the products were mixed, put into capsules and stamped with different logos”, explains Sergeant Éloïse Cossette of the Sûreté du Québec. Quebec (SQ), spokesperson for the ERM Mauricie.

“It is believed that the network was able to manufacture hundreds of thousands of tablets every week, maybe even every day. What is special in this case is the extent of the network, which distributed the tablets throughout Quebec as far as New Brunswick. We believe the traffickers were significant players and the volume of production leads us to believe they were supplying multiple branches of organized crime, not just one in particular,” Sergeant Cossette added.

Several of the places searched were places of storage of money, drugs ready to be distributed or products used in their manufacture. In a Montreal residence, the police discovered safes.

These are searches under investigation, no arrests are planned for the moment.

Since the Supreme Court of Canada handed down the Jordan decision in 2016, which limits judicial delays, the police have carried out searches during the investigation, sometimes several times, to accumulate the evidence and to have it ready. to be disclosed to the defense when the suspects are arrested, and when the Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions (DPCP) is ready to lay charges.

“There’s been a lot of mental health talk lately, but the ravages of this drug aren’t helping. That’s why designer drugs are a priority at the SQ,” says Ms. Cossette.

The SQ will later take stock of the first phase of searches of this investigation called Roar and started last fall.