Police Accused of Planting Evidence at Illegal Gambling Den

Several months after the local police department has busted an illegal gambling den in a mansion in north Toronto, charges have been dropped against a major individual involved in the alleged criminal activities. Lawyers of the figure in question, have accused police officers of planting evidence at the site and stealing watches worth hundreds of dollars from the mansion.

Danielle Robitaille is now the lawyer of the 52-year-old of defendant Wei Wei, who has submitted a formal complaint to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director. Thus, requesting an investigation of how the York Regional Police has dealt with the mansion illegal casino bust or also known as Project Endgame.

Charges Withdrawn

Recently the local police department informed that all charges against Mr. Wei were dropped this month and that he has agreed to a common-law peach bond. This is a probation period that requires him to maintain good behavior under certain conditions for the next two years. Representing him, Ms. Robitaille stated that they no longer believe in the objectivity of the police’s investigation of the case.

The lawyer further explained that the investigation cannot be done fairly since police officers involved in the case have acted inappropriately and therefore, they cannot be impartial in the investigation. And on the basis of that, they will be filing a formal complaint to investigate serious misconduct and abuse of power by the York Regional Police.

After busting the Markham mansion, the police have discovered an enormous underground gambling operation, along with numerous gambling devices, thousands of bottles of alcohol, a banking area, a fully loaded AR-15 rifle. The defendant now claims that there has been evidence of theft and planting of evidence upon watching the police search footage and pictures.

According to the complaint, while searching the property the police have also taken a few pictures of an upstairs bedroom where Mr. Wei was staying, in those photos are visible two very expensive watches Patek Phillippe worth CA$300,000 and a Jaeger-LeCoultre worth around CA$150,000. However, the letter claims that in the video where the police are leaving the bedroom the two watches cannot be seen. Also, the items were not among the bagged belongings.

Ms. Robitaille also insists that the found gun holster in Mr. Wei’s bedroom does not belong to him and it has been planted as evidence to connect him to the other weapons found on the property. She explained that the holster appeared after 17 hours of the police search. The concerns were forwarded to the York Regional Police Chief Jim MacSween.

Operation Endgame

The Markham mansion was raided by the York Police Department on July 23, 2020, and several slot machines and mahjong tables were found. The property also offered accommodation services to its traveling from far away illegal gamblers. Additionally, 11 firearms were found along with almost CA1$ million in cash. The police arrested all 32 individuals who were caught red-handed.

More Illegal Gambling Activities

At the start of this year, the Toronto police department has also busted one more illicit gambling den in a January 29 operation. The police discovered the den after a signal about an individual carrying a firearm at an address on Dundas Street and Spadina Avenue. The officers arrested 14 individuals who have participated in the illegal activities were charged for breaking the Criminal Code and the then Ontario stay-at-home order.

Source: Carter, Adam “Charges dropped in mansion gaming bust, defence alleges cops planted evidence, stole watches” CBC, May 17, 2021

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