Record suspected cocaine seizure at Alberta border crossing: RCMP
84 bricks of suspected cocaine are shown in Coutts, Alta., in this recent police handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Canada Border Services Agency, RCMP
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, December 8, 2017 1:55PM EST
Last Updated Friday, December 8, 2017 4:52PM EST
CALGARY -- Border guards and Alberta RCMP say they have prevented a record amount of drugs from coming into Canada.
Officers with the Canada Border Services Agency say they stopped a commercial truck hauling produce from California at the Coutts, Alta., border crossing last weekend.
They say they found 84 bricks of what they suspect is cocaine in the cab of the truck.
The bricks weighed almost 100 kilograms. Officers found none hidden inside the large crates of fruits and vegetables inside the trailer.
"It's the largest seizure by CBSA on record in Alberta,"said Guy Rook, director of operations in southern Alberta.
"Certainly it's what we focus on but it's the size and the amount of suspected cocaine that could have been on our streets."
Coutts is about 300 kilometres south of Calgary. It's a busy 24-hour border entry and sees a prolific amount of truck traffic.
"There certainly is a lot of trucks that come through Coutts and it's like looking for a needle in a haystack," Rook said.
"In this case we found that needle due to the training and dedication of our front line officers. They look at indicators and make the decision based on that to then search. We're very thorough."
The truck's driver and passenger were arrested and turned over to the RCMP.
Gurminder Singh Toor, 31, of California, and 26-year-old Kirandeep Kaur Toor, also of California, face four charges each under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.
They were scheduled to appear in Lethbridge court on Friday.
RCMP Insp. Allan Lai would only say the shipment was destined for somewhere in the Calgary area. He said the drugs likely would have been shipped to other provinces once it was processed.
Officials said that before this seizure, the largest amount of cocaine picked up in Alberta was 92 kilograms -- also intercepted at Coutts -- in October 2016.
Cocaine is the second most prevalent street drug in Canada.