Police investigators are asking residents in B.C.’s Lower Mainland for help in finding a man who is wanted on drug-related charges stemming from an international drug trafficking investigation.
Denis Ivziku is wanted for alleged crimes that took place between 2018 and 2022 and faces charges of drug trafficking, conspiracy to traffic and possession of property obtained by criminal activity.
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Ivziku is part of the RCMP’s Project Divergent investigation, a large-scale look into the importation of illicit drugs into the country.
“Denis Ivziku has connections to the Lower Mainland, including Burnaby, and it’s possible that he may be residing in the area while actively evading arrest,” said Const. Colin Lindquist, an officer with the RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit in Winnipeg.
Police said Ivziku is the final suspect who hasn’t yet been arrested in connection to Project Divergent.
Dozens of others were apprehended earlier this year: “20 of the 22 individuals charged in relation to Project Divergent were arrested on February 23, 2022,” said Cpl. Alexa Hodgins of the Burnaby RCMP.
“Since then, another individual has been arrested — leaving Denis Ivziku as the only outstanding individual evading police in relation to this investigation.”
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Police describe Denis Ivziku as a 24-year-old man, between five feet five inches to five feet seven inches, 150 to 160 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Project Divergent was created in 2018 leading charges against a total of 22 people from across three provinces, including:
- Enrico Funk, 29, from Freidensruh, Man.
- Artjom Gotting, 32, from Winnipeg
- Nathaniel Cabal, 31, from Winnipeg
- Trinh Ducthang Dinh, 31, from Winnipeg
- Zuhair Mohammad-Zarif, 27, from Winnipeg
- Jesse James Whyte, 26, from Winnipeg
- Damion Patrick Ryan, 41, from Ottawa
- Kelvin Lee Nelson, 27, from Burnaby, B.C.
- Mazin Nzar Zandy, 24, from Burnaby, B.C.
- Andre Omar Steele, 41, from Winnipeg
- Brittany Girardeau, 28, from Winnipeg
- Albert Theodore Jansen, 39, from Winnipeg
- Sharon Jonatanson, 66, from Libau, Man.
- Scott Matthew Jonatanson, 27, from Libau, Man.
- Caitlin Jones, 22, from Winnipeg
- Owen James Quesnel, 33, from Winnipeg
- William Solomon Gooding, 24, from Winnipeg
- Brian Christopher Yakimoski, 28, from Winnipeg
- Jeffrey David Gaudet, 32, from Winnipeg
- Dylan Durval South, 28, from Winnipeg
- Kieffer Michael Kramar, 30, from Winnipeg
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Police said through the investigation they have seized more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, 41 kilograms of methamphetamine, three kilograms of fentanyl, half a kilogram of MDMA, 14 handguns, five assault-style rifles and more than $445,000 in cash.
“As we have seen in this province and in this country, deaths due to opioid overdose have been staggering,” said Insp. Grant Stephen, officer in charge of the Federal, Serious, and Organized Crime Section.
“Project Divergent disrupted the supply chain and took these drugs off the street. The utter disregard for human life shown by those involved in these networks, specifically those at the top of the chain, became very clear during this investigation, and we were able to take them out of the equation.”
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The international investigation spanned from across Canada, to Colombia, Greece and the United States, police said.
Police said although investigators have uncovered ties to the Hells Angels; Denis Ivziku does not have known ties to the ongoing Lower Mainland gang conflict.
Anyone with possible information regarding Ivziku is asked to contact the RCMP at 431-338-0956 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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