Police conducted a series of early morning raids on Thursday targeting an apartment complex linked to a video purportedly showing the mayor of Toronto smoking crack cocaine.
Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said 43 arrests have been made targeting a gang called the Dixon City Bloods or Dixon Goonies.
Police seized 40 guns, US$3 million worth of drugs and US$570,000 cash.
The raid included a building complex where reporters claim drug dealers showed them a cellphone video of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine.
Blair refused to comment further on any evidence seized, saying it will come out in court. Blair would not say if there was any connection to Ford.
Ford thanked police for doing a great job with the raids, calling it good police work.
Ford later brushed past a throng of reporters as he left his office on Thursday.
“I’ve answered so many questions. I don’t know if you guys can’t get it through your thick skulls. Seriously, I’ve already answered all these questions. I’ve got nothing to do with this. I congratulate the police on doing their work,” Ford said.
Ford has said the video does not exist, but Ford has never said he has never smoked crack.
The Toronto Star has reported that two reporters watched a video that appears to show the mayor inhaling from what appears to be a crack pipe.
The video has not been released publicly. Reports on gossip Web site Gawker and in the Toronto Star said it was taken by men who said they had sold drugs to Ford.
Gawker and the Star said the video was shown to them by a drug dealer who had been trying to sell it for a six-figure sum.
CTV News reported on Thursday that unnamed source told them police were investigating the possible existence of such a video weeks before it was reported by the Star and Gawker.
Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday, a close ally of Ford, said it was unlikely the police raids had anything to do with the mayor.
“The police say they were planned months ago, and it’s an extensive raid, it’s not just to do with that set of buildings in Etobicoke, it’s throughout the GTA, involving other police forces,” Holyday said.