The seizure is just the latest in several large seizures of cannabis from Canada since the closure of the border on March 21.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Peace Bridge, connecting upstate New York and Ontario, announced today a seizure of more than 800 kg of cannabis entering the US from Canada.
US officials say the cannabis was detected in a commercial shipment of coffee makers after scans of the truck carrying the coffee makers showed inconsistencies in the truck’s load, and the trailer did not have the required commercial seal on its doors.
Upon closer inspections, officials discovered over 1,600 individual bags of cannabis, hidden underneath coffee grounds.
A 21-year-old Indian national, who was driving a truck with PEI plates, was arrested for what US authorities say was over $2.5 million worth of cannabis.
In an official release from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officials say they have seen an increase in drug seizures at the US/Canada border since the border closed on March 21 of this year due to the Covid pandemic, compared to the same time period last year.
Officials note there have been 225 narcotic seizures totaling more than 4,885 pounds, which they say is an increase of almost 1,600% during the same time period in 2019.
“Recent events have created unique challenges for our Office and our partners in law enforcement as we work together to keep our communities and our Nation safe and secure,” stated U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy in an official release from the agency. “While the COVID-19 response may have slowed commerce across our Nation’s borders, this arrest proves not only that criminals persist in their efforts to break the law but that law enforcement remains vigilant in its effort to uphold it.”
In April, a Nurse from Ontario was stopped at the US border with 150 pounds of marijuana while on her way to a Detroit hospital to help them manage the Covid pandemic. And earlier that month border US officials found and seized 31 kg of cannabis from a truck at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge at a Ontario/New York border crossing.
In May of this year, US Homeland Security and U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Port Angeles Station seized a 23-foot Bayliner and 497 pounds of marijuana that entered US waters from Canada
On June 5, a man was found unconscious in the Detroit River tied to a “bushel” of over 200kg of cannabis. near Celeron Island, a small island on the US side of the river. According to US officials, he was unconscious and had a tow strap attached to his body, with the other end of the strap tied to a bushel of marijuana. The man had told officials he had been using a submersible device to ferry cannabis, cocaine and cash between the US and Canada.
Last year, US officials said they had seen a significant spike in seizures of cannabis coming from Canada since legalization on October 19, 2018, including one incident of a low-flying helicopter near the border tipping authorities off to 50kg of cannabis in hockey bags hidden in the woods.
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