Border agents together with RCMP have made the largest seizure of cocaine ever on the prairies at the Coutts border crossing.
The seizures were made on three different dates, discovered in transport trucks owned by a B.C. company.
In the first shipment, 69 kg (152 pounds) of cocaine was found in the cab of a truck hauling produce.
In the second, 40 kg (90 pounds) of cocaine was hidden in a shipment of t.vs.
In the third seizure 92 km (204 pounds) of the drug were found in a shipment of Halloween costumes.
All of the shipments came from California.
RCMP Insp. Allan Lai says this is a massive bust.
“The total weight of the seized drugs are approximately 202 kg (445 pounds). The estimated street value of this cocaine would be in excess of $10 million.
Anna Maria Coutu, Alberta director for the Canada Border Services Agency was asked if border agents were tipped off by anything suspicious.
“There are certain things are officers look for. They’re obviously trained in different investigation techniques. This was in the course of their exam that they discovered certain packages that they felt needed further investigation.”
4 men from B.C. and one from Ontario are facing charges of importing a controlled substance, and possession for purpose of trafficking.
RCMP can’t comment on whether the men were working together, or whether they’re involved in organized crime. But Lai says the cocaine was definitely organized crime-related given the amount of drugs seized.