Media Release – Project Breakout
Over the last several months the Chatham-Kent Police Service Intelligence Unit has been conducting a probe into drug trafficking within the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, through funding provided by the Ontario Government, Criminal Intelligence Service of Ontario. The information gathered during the course of the investigation, other locations, and suspects within Southern Ontario were identified. As a result, the Ontario Provincial Police Joint Forces Guns and Gangs Enforcement Team (PGNG), and the St. Thomas Police Service became involved. The information gathered by the collaborative Police Agencies led the PGNG with the assistance of London Police Service, St. Thomas Police Service, and the Chatham-Kent Police Service with the assistance of the Windsor Police Service to execute simultaneous search warrants in the cities of Chatham, London and St. Thomas. On the 4th of October 2023, warrants were executed at four locations in Chatham and four additional locations in London and St. Thomas.
The results of the search warrants led to the arrest of seven people and the seizure of nearly $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) worth of fentanyl and other drugs. In addition, several weapons were seized.
• 3,638 grams of fentanyl
• 51 grams of cocaine
• 430 grams of methamphetamine
• 20 grams of MDMA
• Hydromorphone capsules
• Oxycodone tablets
• 1 – .32 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver (loaded)
• 2 – .22 caliber long rifles
• Various ammunition
• 2 – BB .177 caliber firearms
• 2 – prohibited devices (extended magazines)
• 2 – BB .177 caliber firearms
• 1 – Glock handgun
A total of 87 Criminal charges were laid. Four parties were charged with numerous drug and weapons offences and released with future court dates. Three male parties were held for bail and subsequently remanded into custody. They are:
• Matthew HUMPHREY (37), of Chatham, is charged with six counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking: fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, hydromorphone, oxycodone, and ecstasy. He is additionally charged with 15 offences relating to weapons and prohibitions as well as breach of probation.
• Shaun PEITENS (41), of Chatham, is charged with five counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, hydromorphone, and oxycodone. He is further charged with nine additional offences relating to weapons possession, storage, and prohibitions.
• Steven BROWN (30), of St. Thomas, is charged with four firearms offences including Possession of a Loaded Prohibited Firearm, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm, Careless Storage of a Firearm, and two counts of Breaching a previous release condition.
It was with the cooperative assistance of the police agencies involved that this investigation was able to come to a successful conclusion, and the significant amount of drugs and weapons were taken off the streets in our communities.
The Chatham-Kent Police Service would like to thank to the PGNG, the St. Thomas Police Service Street Crime Unit, the Windsor Police Emergency Response Unit, and the London Police Tactical Unit for their assistance and professionalism.
On behalf of Detective Inspector Lee Fulford, “Through PGNG, the OPP and partners remain committed to working collaboratively on joint law enforcement initiatives to disrupt and dismantle street gangs, their associates, and other criminal enterprises. Today, Chatham-Kent and surrounding communities are safer because dangerous guns, illicit drugs and those who make them available, are off our streets.”
On behalf of Chief Conn, “I wish to thank all of our professional partners who assisted in this project and warrant executions. It is only through our collective synergies that we are able to reduce the harms associated to drug trafficking while increasing public safety and well-being to our respective communities. Your successful efforts in abating illegal drug activity within southwestern Ontario is immensely appreciated!”