On Monday, February 14, 2011, Lawrence Easton BUNGARO, 30, of East Gwillimbury, attended the #1 District Headquarters in Newmarket where he was charged with five Criminal Code charges in connection with the January 31, 2011 fire. Charges include Arson (Disregard for Human Life), Production of a Controlled Substance, Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking and two counts of Mischief Endangering Life. Mr. Bungaro has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Wednesday, March 2, 2011.
Officers previously arrested a 29-year-old basement occupant on the day of the fire after evidence was found consistent with illicit drug production. Mark Edward FRENCH, 29, of Stouffville, has been charged with Arson (Disregard for Human Life), Production of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking, Possession of a Controlled Substance and Breach of Probation. Mr. French has been held in custody and is scheduled to appear before the
Ontario Court of Justice in Newmarket on Wednesday, February 16, 2011.
On Monday, January 31, 2011, at approximately 1 p.m., York Regional Police, the WhitchurchStouffville Fire Department and York Region Emergency Medical Services responded to a house fire at 55 Merdock Court. Two victims located on the main and upper floor of the home were evacuated.
They were treated for minor injuries as a result of the fire. The home sustained damage estimated in the area of $450,000.
A joint investigation by officers from the Drugs and Vice Unit and the #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau, in conjunction with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, has revealed that the fire started due to activities that were consistent with illicit drug production. Investigators believe that the basement area of the home was being used as a laboratory to process marihuana into Cannabis Resin