It’s almost a springtime ritual.

Hundreds of police officers from various forces fan out in pre-drawn raids across Greater Toronto and beyond to execute search warrants, arrest scores of people and lay dozens of charges after a massive investigation that has a catchy name — in this case, Project Fusion.

A media conference follows with pronouncements made about the fruits of the project, including the 40 guns seized yesterday, which police said will deal a “significant blow” to the firearm supply in east Toronto and make the streets safer.

As well, millions of dollars worth of illicit narcotics were seized during several months of investigation, not just yesterday.

The Toronto Police Service says this time it is trying to do some things differently in its latest salvo in the war on guns and gangs.

Police Chief Bill Blair said that as the accused move through the courts a more streamlined process is planned, aimed at avoiding some of the problems of previous projects that have targeted street gangs.

“The people who we arrested ... some of them are charged with less serious criminal offences so some of those people have been released or will be released over the next few days. Our intent is to ensure the detention of those people who pose a risk,” Blair said.

Police haul

• The raids netted 125 suspects, and police seized 40 firearms, almost 20 kilograms of cocaine, nearly 30 kilograms of marijuana, 30,000 ecstasy tablets, as well as other drugs, cash and vehicles.

Latest From ...