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Y MEDIA BREAKING NEWS: Project Barbell- Firearms Trafficking Investigation: Toronto Police Say 6 People Arrested, 62 Firearms Seized, 260 Criminal Charges Laid

Police Chief James Ramer was joined by Superintendent Steve Watts of Organized Crime Enforcement to announce the results of Project Barbell, an eight-month long firearm trafficking investigation that has resulted in multiple arrests and guns seized.

In the fall of 2021, members of the TPS Integrated Gun and Gang Task Force launched an extensive investigation into an armed criminal group suspected of firearms trafficking in Toronto. On May 28, 2022, officers conducted Criminal Code Search Warrants for addresses and vehicles associated with the involved parties, resulting in six arrests, 260 criminal charges laid, and evidence seized, including 62 firearms.

In addition to the firearm investigation, one of the individuals arrested has also been identified as a suspect in a reckless shooting incident that occurred in a crowded bar on October 19, 2021, in the Queen Street West and Portland Street area.

“Gun violence continues to be the most significant public safety concern for the people of Toronto. Every one of these guns was destined for our streets; our communities,” said Chief James Ramer. “Toronto Police remain fully committed to working with our partner agencies, and all levels of government, on prevention and addressing root causes for those who are at-risk. But let me be clear, we are equally committed to targeting those who are high-risk; those who choose to carry and to use illegal guns in our neighbourhoods.”

During the investigation, the following occurred:

These search warrants led to the seizure of:

Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi, 27, of Toronto, has been charged with:

Michael Simpson, 29, of Toronto, has been charged with:

Syeda Tirmizi, 27, of Toronto, has been charged with:

Shaheen Abdul, 62, of Toronto, has been charged with:

Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi, 27, was also charged in a shooting that occurred at a bar on October 19, 2021, in the Queen Street West and Portland Street area.

He has been charged with:

They will appear in court on Friday, December 9, 2022, at Toronto East Courts in room 407 at 10 a.m.

Police also arrested several parties not named in the investigation while executing the search warrants.

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