bc-100315-heed-cocaine

B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed stands with other law enforcement officials by a stack of 1,001 kilos of cocaine. ((CBC))

A Simon Fraser University criminologist says a major drug bust on Vancouver Island involving more than a tonne of cocaine will drive up the street price of the illicit substance.

"Anybody who's holding cocaine at the moment is going to find themselves with a bit of a bonus," Robert Gordon told CBC News on Monday.

Police said they found 1,001 kilograms of cocaine and arrested two men — a Canadian and a Mexican citizen — March 6 after boarding a sailboat in Port Hardy, about 400 kilometres northwest of Victoria.

"[The seizure] obviously does not stop the flow of drugs into Canada from a variety of sources from the south," said Gordon. "But it's going to have an impact on the value of the existing cocaine that's on the marketplace at the moment."

One of the ironies of a big drug bust is it inadvertently creates greater profits for those who are involved in the industry, Gordon said.

Seaborne smuggling deterred

B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed appeared with police Monday in Vancouver during a news conference on the seizure promised it would not be the last major interception of drugs in the province.

"Our government is committed to continue this aggressive pursuit of crime groups and gangs involved in this type of activity," said Heed.

Gordon said the fate of this drug shipment would likely be a deterrent for smugglers attempting to bring in such large amounts of contraband by sea.

Usually, large quantities come in by land or air across the border from the U.S., he said.

The sailboat allegedly involved in this incident was registered in Panama.