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Loaded and unloaded handguns seized in drug investigation

Illegal Guns Regularly Seized in Guelph

Following a landmark drug seizure last week and an unprecedented number of homicides last year, the chief of Guelph’s police is urging residents to come forward with any information they may have.

The chief’s message is clear: if you see something, say something.

Chief Gord Cobey, speaking at a meeting of the Guelph Police Services Board on Thursday, encouraged the community to reach out. “At various public gatherings, I’ve engaged with many individuals. Often, they express a reluctance to contact the police, fearing they might be troubling us unnecessarily,” he shared.

Cobey stressed that the police are always ready to respond, emphasizing the importance of community engagement in maintaining safety. “Our goal is to serve the community and gain its trust,” he remarked.

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He highlighted a recent significant operation that led to the arrest of a 37-year-old individual from Brampton, capturing eight firearms and drugs valued over $5 million. This operation, which began last November, marked a milestone in the fight against drug trafficking.

“This kind of operation was almost unthinkable until recently,” Cobey observed, underscoring the need to acknowledge such achievements while staying alert to emerging trends.

Cobey noted the increasing issue of illegal firearms in Guelph, revealing that 14 firearms, including 11 handguns, have been confiscated in the first 12 weeks of the year in connection with criminal charges.

“This news should reassure our community of our dedication to addressing these issues,” he stated.

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Deputy Chief Steve Gill expressed concerns over the links between these seizures and organized crime. “The presence of organized crime in our community is worrying and something we are determined to prevent,” Gill added.

Cobey also pointed to a surge in violent crimes, highlighting an alarming rise in homicides. “Last year, we witnessed five homicides, a number unprecedented in our history,” he said. Typically, the city would expect to see one homicide a year, based on averages from the past decade and a half.

 

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The investigation into the fifth homicide revolves around Mike Galizzi, whose body was discovered on February 1 in Preservation Park. Galizzi is believed to have been murdered shortly after his disappearance in early December, according to police spokesperson Scott Tracey.

Tracey urged residents to report any suspicious activity, using auto theft as an example. “Illegal drug operations often coincide with other criminal activities, including armed violence and human trafficking,” Cobey warned. “We are not shielded from the crime trends affecting larger urban areas around us.”

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