Man sought for murder, kidnapping in GTA arrested in drug bust in Timmins

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A 21-year-old man sought for a violent kidnapping in Brampton and a deadly shooting in Scarborough has been nabbed in a drug bust 700 kilometres north of the Greater Toronto Area.

Peel Regional Police say Kwami Garwood, who was also wanted on several firearm-related charges, was arrested during an “unrelated investigation” by Timmins Police on Friday.

Garwood had been sought as a suspect in the March 28 abduction of 23-year-old Saline Ouk near Mayfield and Mississauga roads.

The Timmins Police Service does not believe these men were hiding out in Timmins to avoid arrest by GTA policing agencies.

“We hold the position that all parties, especially Mr. Garwood, were actively involved in a significant opioid drug trafficking operation halted by the Timmins Police Service – Drug Enforcement Section,” said Marc Depatie, spokesman for the Timmins Police Service.

Garwood was among four people arrested Friday after TPS executed a search warrant at a Timmins residence and seized 271.8 grams of fentanyl worth an estimated street value of $163,000.

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In the alleged kidnapping in Brampton in March, officers responded to a “disturbance” at a residence on Adventura Drive around 3 a.m. that involved reports of a man banging on the door and yelling before somehow ending up inside the home.

“A female was screaming inside the residence,” Const. Heather Cannon said at the time. “Police entered and there was an interaction where an officer discharged a firearm.”

The man managed to flee with the young woman, forcing her into a black Honda Civic and driving off.

The suspect vehicle was found empty about six kilometres away later that day.

Police appealed to the kidnapper — reportedly the victim’s estranged boyfriend — to let her go. She subsequently walked into a Peel police station the next night, but whether she was able to escape the clutches of her abductor or he let her go is unclear.

Garwood now faces an assortment of charges that include kidnapping, forcible confinement, aggravated assault, weapons and driving offences.

Toronto Police have also charged Garwood in connection with the broad daylight shooting of Andre Charles last summer.

The 43-year-old murder victim was found suffering from fatal gunshot wounds in a parking lot at Morecambe Gate and Chester Le Boulevard — near Victoria Park and Finch avenues — just after 1:30 p.m. on July 4, 2020.

One suspect — Sharmar Bailey, 21, of Toronto — was arrested July 29 and charged with first-degree murder.

At that time, police also named Garwood as a suspect in the killing.

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Toronto cops say officers “carried out extensive inquiries” in an effort to track down the suspect, who was arrested in Timmins “as part of a separate drugs investigation.”

“This arrest has been 10 months in the making and we are extremely thankful for the diligent work of our colleagues at Timmins Police Service and OPP who were able to secure Garwood and immediately alert us,” Homicide Det.-Sgt. Keri Fernandes said in a statement Wednesday.

“This is not only a great example of services working together but also highlights the fact that, no matter how long it might take, we won’t stop looking for those who we allege are responsible for serious crimes,” she added.

Toronto Police have charged Garwood with two counts of assault with a weapon and one count each of threatening death, aggravated assault, and failure to comply with recognizance order.

— Chris Doucette of Sunmedia, with files from The Daily Press

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