Saskatoon police are part of a project to eliminate car theft groups

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Saskatoon police were part of the investigative team behind Project MYRA, an interprovincial investigation into the fraudulent modification and sale of stolen vehicles.

In a statement, the Ontario Provincial Police says 214 vehicles worth more than $12 million have been recovered so far and three criminal organizations, including one with Saskatchewan ties, have been dismantled.

A wide range of stolen vehicle makes and models have been recovered, including high-end vehicles.

The Saskatoon men Blue Pelletier, 44, and Christopher Montague-Mitchell, 31, are among 28 people charged with a total of 242 offences.

Pelletier is charged with use of a false document, fraudulent receiving, conspiracy to commit the use of a false document, conspiracy to commit fraudulent receiving, conspiracy to criminally traffic in property obtained, trafficking in property obtained by crime and three counts of participating in the activities of a criminal organization.

Montague-Mitchell is charged with use of false document, fraudulent receiving, conspiracy to commit use of false document, conspiracy to commit fraudulent receiving, conspiracy to traffic in property obtained by crime, trafficking in property obtained by crime and three counts of participating in the activities of a criminal organization.

Pelletier and Montague-Mitchell have both been released and are scheduled to appear in Saskatoon Provincial Court on August 18 and 19, respectively.

Project MYRA was launched in September 2020 after the OPP and its partners uncovered a vehicle theft ring. The network fraudulently altered the vehicle identification numbers (VIN) of stolen vehicles in order to resell them in private sales. These thefts took place primarily in Ontario.

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The Ontario Provincial Police say further investigation revealed three criminal organizations involved in the thefts.

One, based in Toronto and the Regional Municipality of Durham, was responsible for the fraudulent registration of stolen vehicles in Saskatchewan. The group then transferred the fraudulent documents to Ontario in order to register and resell the vehicles there, including to criminal networks.

The OPP says some of those charged are ServiceOntario employees, who are accused of assisting in the illegitimate registration of stolen vehicles.

A total of 44 search warrants were executed, resulting in the seizure of six firearms, 230 grams of fentanyl, 1,840 grams of cocaine, 77 kilograms of cannabis, 150 grams of cannabis resin, 10 grams of psilocybin, 8,400 $US, $160,000 CAN, two money counters and two laser marking machines.

Police say the investigation is ongoing and they are continuing to identify and locate vehicles associated with the criminal organizations.

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