Ford's people visit crack house
A woman living in a suspected crack house, where she suggested the Rob Ford crack video was filmed, complained that the mayor's "people" were stopping by every day following media reports about the video, police allege.
Elena Basso is heard on a wiretapped conversation with an alleged gang member saying Ford has "got power" and "it doesn't matter who's right or wrong...we're going to feel the heat everywhere," police allege.
Police summaries of the wiretaps made as part of Project Traveller — a gang, drugs and weapons investigation — are among information ordered released to the public Thursday by an Ontario Superior Court judge.
The allegations, which were included in a police request for search warrants, have not been proven in court.
Ford declared Thursday that he had been "cleared" after the provincial police force, which was tapped last month to oversee a Toronto police probe of the mayor's activities, said it was no longer involved.
That probe, dubbed Project Brazen 2, was sparked by media reports — first published on May 16 — about a cellphone video on which Ford appears to smoke crack cocaine.
But at that time the Project Traveller investigation was already well underway, including wiretaps, which allegedly captured conversations about the video.
One of those conversations, police say in the documents, was between alleged gang member Liban Siyad — who would later be arrested in Project Traveller — and Basso, whose home police allege is a "frequent hangout for crack cocaine users."
According to the documents, Siyad tells Basso, who has a long criminal record including drug possession and trafficking, he had nothing to do with the video and both talk about "G" being responsible for it.
Police believe "G" is Mohamed Siad, who was also ultimately arrested in Project Traveller.
If Siyad had the video, he would bring it to Basso "directly to give to Rob," police allege he said in the May 20 conversation.
"The (expletive) goof did it at my house," police allege Basso said. "I got Rob's (expletive) people and cops coming here every (expletive) day."
The "whole area" is going to "go down" because of "G," police allege Basso said. G screwed up her business, Siyad's business and everybody's business, police allege Basso said.
Siyad wanted Basso to tell Ford he didn't have the video and Basso assured him she knows that, police allege.
"To be fair, Rob Ford, I told you guys is a big (expletive) idiot," police allege Basso said.
It wasn't the first time police allege they overheard Basso and Siyad discussing the mayor. Police allege she was intercepted calling him a month earlier, saying Ford was at her house.
Siyad then called another person involved in Project Traveller and told him he was going to go deal with Ford at Basso's house because the mayor wanted drugs, police allege.
Ford has denied that the home is a crack house.
Police believe that a widely published photo showing the mayor posing with three men — one shot dead shortly after the photo was taken and the other two accused gang members — was taken outside the home.
When asked about the photo in November, Ford said the encounter was an "one off", but did not explain why he was there.
The newly released police documents also alleges that on May 17 another man arrested in Project Traveller spoke to an unknown male about how "the hood" would be raided soon and that Ford was "going mad."
While Ford's friend Alexander Lisi has been charged with extortion for alleged attempts to get his hands on the video, the mayor himself has not been charged with any criminal offence in the Project Brazen 2 investigation.
Various intercepts in the documents relate to Lisi's alleged extortion attempts.
He called Siyad the night of May 16 and told him to "get to the bottom of it," and said there would be a reward if it was tracked down, referring to the video, police allege.
Two days later the two spoke again and Lisi told Siyad, "Yo (unintelligible) you see the heat, bro? You see the heat on Dixon, bro?" police allege.
"The whole place…is going to get lit right up," police allege Lisi said.
A Toronto police spokesman said Thursday the probe is not over, adding that the latest batch of released documents was a sign of the ongoing nature of the investigation.
"When the investigation is concluded we will sit down with the Ontario Provincial Police and with the Crowns to decide on the next step," said Mark Pugash.
The OPP said Thursday that "all the matters are currently before the courts" and there is no new information or evidence that needs to be followed up on.
"Therefore there is no role for us at this time," said OPP Sgt. Pierre Chamberland.
The OPP was willing to assist in the future if Toronto police made another request for their services when new information emerged, said Chamberland.
Ford took the news to mean he was cleared.
"I just knew all along, I didn't miss a day of work, I just kept coming in because I know I did nothing wrong," the mayor said at city hall.
"I knew the day was going to come that I would be cleared and I guess today's the day."
Ford has repeatedly said the police probe was politically motivated. He has publicly accused Toronto police Chief Bill Blair of wasting tax money with the investigation, and challenged the chief to arrest and charge him.
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