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Guns, drugs seized in sweep of TCHC buildings: police

Items seized during a raid of community housing buildings are displayed on Monday, Feb. 25, 2013.

TORONTO, Ont. – Toronto Police seized guns, a sword and a quantity of drugs in a raid last week of community housing buildings in Toronto.

“Project Walk-In” — a collaborative operation between police and security from Toronto Community Housing was conducted primarily in 31 Division, which includes the Jane-Finch neighbourhood where 15-year-old St. Aubyn Rodney was shot dead earlier this month.

After sweeping buildings starting Feb. 21, officers recovered two handguns, a replica handgun, a shotgun, 20 rounds of ammunition, a sword and a quantity of drugs from searches both inside TCH buildings and in common areas, police said Monday.

The areas searched were common and public areas and did not require search warrants, police said.

Insp. Shaun Narine said police found weapons hidden when they pulled away drop down ceiling tiles and even ammunition in a sock in a laundry room.

He said this is likely because more than one person uses them.

“Firearms being hard to come by as well as ammunition, bad guys now purchase guns together,” he said.

“They pull their money together, they get the firearms, they put them in area that’s readily accessible. Whoever wants them — who knows that they’re there — go get the guns and they commit their criminal acts.”

TCH said it is troubling that these items can be found in areas where lots of people are, but the combined efforts of police and TCH have made a good start in getting weapons out of communities and keeping people safe.

“We all play a part in keeping communities safe. With witness information, Toronto police can seek arrests and [TCH] can pursue evictions of residents who commit crimes on our properties,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

The walk-in was conducted in response to recent gun violence that has killed three 15-year-old boys on or near TCH properties.