during this Holiday Season.
The container had come from India and was destined for Ontario. The investigation has been turned over to the RCMP; so far one arrest has been made in Ontario in connection with the case. At the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge en route into Canada, an 18wheeler was stopped for inspection, the driver was asked if he had anything to declare upon which he replied no that he had an empty trailer. The driver appeared to be nervous and would not make eye contact so was asked to step out of his tractor. The truck was sent for secondary inspection where it was X-rayed nothing appeared on X-ray, a drug-sniffing dog was brought in and again didn’t notice anything. Two officers noticed screws on the floor boards had been tampered with, they removed the boards and found a hidden compartment stretching across the entire floor, inside they found 97 bricks of cocaine, more than 100 kilos worth an estimated $4.4 million. The driver was a 31-year-old family man from Brampton, ON who plead guilty to the charge of conspiracy to export cocaine. Ecstasy, marijuana and cocaine are the three major drugs smuggled between the U.S. and Canada. Ecstasy and marijuana travel south, cocaine travels north. Until about a decade ago, crossborder smuggling was almost always by sea and air. As Mexican drug cartels replaced Colombian drug lords, cocaine smugglers started using land routes, specifically tractor-trailers to ship drugs from Mexico to the U.S. and Canada. For a while, Vancouver was where drugs were transported across Canada before hitting the Toronto area. About six years ago, Canadian authorities determined that the Windsor-Detroit crossing was the preferred route of traffickers, although large drug seizures have also taken place at Ontario crossings such as Sarnia, Fort Erie and Niagara. Windsor-Detroit is the busiest border crossing, where more than 7,000 trucks cross daily.
Homeland Security in the U.S. and the CBSA would not reveal how many trucks undergo extensive searches but some sources say as few as 200 a day. The sheer volume of traffic, in the eyes of traffickers, makes it a risk worth taking, says Richard Pollock, federal prosecutor in Windsor. For every illegal shipment caught, he estimates 200 slip through undetected. One RCMP official referred to the drug trade as a continuous “cat and mouse game” as traffickers come up with more sophisticated means of smuggling and authorities develop better ways of detecting the illicit cargo.
For further information on aiding in the fight against smuggling, terrorism, C-TPAT, FAST, PIP please contact;
Dawn Truell, President, Cross Border Services, at: www.c-tpat-certified.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note from Dave here, if you see suspicious activity, persons asking you for a ride acrosss the border in your truck, a loose lipped driver talking about smuggling loads of drugs or weapons, do us all a favour and contact authorities. Try to get as much information as possible without becoming involved and shut these bad guys down!
BORDER WATCH CALL