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Alleged drug trafficker nabbed in Sault's largest fentanyl bust wins release from jail

Judge approves pre-trial release of Richard Anderson Brewster — an alleged Toronto gang member known as Richie Stacks — with a number of strict conditions, including that he wear a GPS ankle monitor at all times
Richard Anderson Brewster, a.k.a Richie Stacks, was one of five people charged in the Sault's largest fentanyl bust as part of Project Otter in January 2023.

EDITOR’S NOTE: A previous version of this article was edited to comply with a court-ordered publication ban.

A judge has granted an application to release Richard Anderson Brewster from custody at Algoma Remand and Treatment Centre while he awaits trial in connection with the Sault’s largest-ever fentanyl seizure.

Brewster — a.k.a. Richie Stacks, an alleged member of the Toronto Driftwood Crips — was arrested along with four others in January 2023 for allegedly trafficking massive amounts of fentanyl, meth and cocaine in the Sault and Whitby after police say they seized more than $1 million in narcotics, along with packaging materials, debt lists, multiple cell phones and stacks of cash.

The 700 grams of fentanyl allegedly seized from a MacDonald Avenue apartment at the time of the drug bust marked a one-time record haul for Sault Ste. Marie Police Service.

In custody since his arrest 17 months ago, Brewster applied for a review of his detention order pending his trial, tentatively scheduled for November 2025.

At a hearing on Friday morning, Ontario Superior Court Justice Julie Richard agreed to Brewster’s release now that the 42-year-old from Oshawa, Ont., has four sureties in place

Brewster will be required to wear a GPS ankle monitor at all times. He’s also been ordered to have no communication with the other four people initially charged in the January 2023 drug bust, and is forbidden from attending a condominium in Whitby rented by co-accused Leyla Ibrahim, where police say more than 6,000 grams of meth and 100 tablets of oxycodone were seized as part of Project Otter.

On top of those conditions, Brewster cannot possess or use any electronic device that has internet connectivity without supervision, given the alleged drug trafficking offences.

A publication ban prohibits the release of further information contained in the judge’s ruling.

Brewster, Ibrahim and Tequar Jones will face a trial by jury in November of next year after being indicted for numerous offences under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act related to drug trafficking and possession of property obtained by crime.

Charges laid against the remaining two individuals charged as a result of Project Otter — Maurice Fidd and O’Shane Davis-Forbes — have since been dropped.

James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for Douglasfosterbooks in Sault Ste. Marie
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