In March 2023, Niagara Regional Police street crime detectives began an investigation into the distribution of illegal drugs throughout Niagara Falls.
On Friday, March 17, 2023, a police news release says, detectives executed two search warrants, the first warrant at a residence in the area of River Road near Eastwood Crescent, and the second inside a hotel room in the area of Lundy’s Lane near Beaverdams Road.
As a result of the investigation, two men have been arrested. In total, detectives recovered one loaded handgun, 327 grams of suspected fentanyl and 31.6 grams of suspected cocaine. The combined estimated street value of the drugs is $39,000. In addition, detectives also seized $748.40 believed to have been acquired through the proceeds of crime.
Matthew Stewart, 23, of Mississauga is charged with the following criminal offences:
• Possess restricted or prohibited firearm knowingly not holding a licence
• Possession of proceeds of property obtained by crime under $5,000
• Possess restricted or prohibited firearm without holding a licence
• Unauthorized possession of a prohibited device or ammunition
• Posses a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition
• Careless storage of a firearm, weapon, prohibited device
• Possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking
• Possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking
• Fail to comply with release order
• Fail to comply with probation order
• Possession of a firearm, weapon, or ammunition contrary to prohibition order
Brett Michael Jeremy McLaren, 31, of Niagara Falls is charged with the following criminal offence:
• Two counts of possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking.
Stewart and McLaren remain in police custody and are being held for a bail hearing scheduled to take place later today (March 17) via video link to the Robert S.K. Welch Courthouse, in St. Catharines.
Members of the public who wish to provide information anonymously are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers of Niagara online or by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards to persons who contact the program with information that leads to an arrest.