News / Toronto

CEO of ‘legal’ drugs company arrested in alleged $2 million drug bust in Toronto

The Toronto drug squad announced Tuesday officers arrested five men and charged them with 59 drug-related charges, and seized more than 50 kilograms of drugs with street value of almost $2 million.

One of the accused is Adam Wookey, 29. Police confirmed he is the CEO of The Izms, a company that sells what it describes as “legal” drugs, or drug alternatives. The Izms is an herb laced with synthetic cannabinoids that users smoke to get high.

Wookey was charged with two counts each of possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana and MDMA, and two counts of possession of proceeds of crime. A police spokesperson said the recent arrests had nothing to do with the Izms.

Wookey and the four other suspects in the recent bust were arrested overnight on Monday, as drug squad officers executed search warrants at six locations in Toronto and York Region “in connection with a two-week investigation into an alleged illegal drug distribution network,” police said.

Police allege they seized two kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of ketamine, 30 kilograms of marijuana, 17.5 kilograms of MDMA, 300 grams of heroin and 60 grams of crystal methamphetamine.

Wookey, Gabriel Pretto-Viani, 29, and Kyle Edward-Turrell, 41, were charged with two counts each of possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana and MDMA, and two counts of possession of proceeds of crime.

Rico Batak, 25, and Mustafa Farouk, 25, were charged with three counts each of possession for the purpose of trafficking marijuana and MDMA, and two counts each of possession for the purpose of trafficking cocaine, ketamine, heroin and crystal methamphetamine, as well as five counts of possession of proceeds of crime.

It is not Wookey’s first arrest. He was arrested and charged with trafficking in March following a Hamilton police investigation into the Izms, but the charges were later stayed. He also pleaded guilty to gun possession and drug trafficking offences committed shortly after he turned 18.

In an interview with Metro this spring after his arrest in the Hamilton police investigation, Wookey said he'd seen the toll the illegal drug trade had on young people and one of the reasons he set up Izms was to offer a legal alternative.

“My life was affected by the current system we have in place, a lot of my friends lives were affected,” he said.

He argued it’s harder for teens to get alcohol from liquor stores than drugs from their friends, which creates a drug culture that encourages the use of drugs and offers a tempting economic incentive for teens to deal drugs. That’s why he said he wants to see “drug alternatives” like he sells regulated and sold in stores, instead of being outlawed and thus made part of the illegal drug culture.

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