Over 600kg cannabis seized at Vermont/Quebec border

| Staff

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Port of Highgate Springs seized 1,331 lbs. (603 kg) of cannabis in a commercial shipment earlier this week at a border crossing between Vermont and Quebec.

On March 29, CBP officers and Agriculture Specialists assigned to the Port of Highgate Springs selected a commercial shipment that was manifested as “food product” for additional examination. The truck and trailer were sent for a non-intrusive examination that revealed anomalies inside the trailer. CBP officers then conducted a search and a subsequent physical inspection revealed multiple vacuum-sealed packages contained within the shipment. The contents of the vacuum-sealed packages field-tested positive for the properties of cannabis that authorities say has an “estimated street value” of more than $2.6 million dollars, or about $4 a gram.

CBP conducts operations at ports of entry throughout the United States, and regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for narcotics, weapons, and other restricted or prohibited products. CBP strives to serve as the premier law enforcement agency enhancing the Nation’s safety, security, and prosperity through collaboration, innovation, and integration.

Large shipments of cannabis disguised in commercial shipments have increased significantly since the US and Canada closed their border to nonessential traffic in March 2020. Several hundred kilograms were seized on March 26 at a border crossing between New York and Ontario. On March 10, officers at the same crossing seized 300kg of cannabis hidden in a commercial shipment of plastic bottles.

In February, $2 million worth of cannabis was seized at the Port of Buffalo, at the Lewiston Bridge, about 30 minutes north of the Peace Bridge in a commercial shipment that was manifested as cardboard. In January another 900 lbs were seized at the Lewiston Cargo Facility in Lewiston, New York, north of Niagara Falls.

Authorities sized more than 70,000 kg of cannabis in 2020 at the US Canada border.

“Our CBP officers and Agriculture Specialists continue to operate at the highest levels of vigilance in the wake of this pandemic,” said St. Albans Area Port Director Eileen Bigelow.  “Our officers and specialists possess keen observational skills and, in this case, were able to determine that this shipment required further inspection that culminated in the discovery of narcotics.”