(THUNDER BAY, ON) – Frontline officers with the Thunder Bay Police Service have shut down one more trap house operating in our community. A “trap house” is a residence where drugs are being sold and often women being pimped out.
It has been said in court by a leading drug investigator that Thunder Bay has over 80 known “trap houses”, with the actual number being at least double. A majority of these residences have been taken over by southern Ontario gang members.
The strategy that these out of town gang members are using, is that they will get someone to rent a place in a likely fake name. The gangsters then traffick not only drugs, but heavily addicted women out of the residences.
Yesterday, on Saturday, police were called following suspicions of a possible trap house located on the top floor of the building pictured. Police were informed that the tenant has not been in contact with the landlord at all and that the rent was late. Police conducted a welfare check and observed items in the unit that were consistent with drug trafficking.
Two black males, believed to be gang members from southern Ontario, were arrested, one was said to possibly be 16 years old. Police carted the two males off to Hotel Balmoral (Thunder Bay Police Service station), where they were expected to appear in court on Sunday. The Youth Criminal Justice Act prevents their identities from being published. The act also pushes the justice system to release young offenders as much as possible. It’s likely we will hear from the youth again.
Officers held the scene of the trap house until a search warrant was able to be obtained. Once obtained, officers searched the premises and were spotted putting what looked like bags of drugs, scales, and a significant amount of money into their cruisers. It is not believed any firearms were located in the home. Roughly 4 marked police cruisers responded to the scene along with a few of their undercover brothers.
Officers have not been able to locate or contact the woman who originally rented the unit. It is likely rented under a fictitious name, as is believed to have occurred with numerous other trap houses in town.
This location will not be reopening unless the tenant on the lease appears to the landlord. Often, other trap houses reopen for business in a few days. They are able to do this because the original tenant of the building typically is addicted to drugs and allows the dealers to sell out of their residence in exchange for often $50-$100 a day worth of drugs. The tenant usually is arrested during raids and upon being released, is allowed to continue living in their home. In this case, the tenant on the lease is likely not to return, causing the successful shut down of a trap house.
Citizen journalist born and raised in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I like pizza and reporting on concerning events that are in my home region, or that impact it. You can read more by clicking here.