Cocaine hidden in clown statues, marijuana in chip containers and prohibited poultry were among the more bizarre seizures made by the Canada Border Service Agency officers at Alberta borders in 2015.
Officers at Alberta's land border crossings executed 256 seizures while processing more than 1.1 million travellers during the year, the CBSA said.
One rogue traveller — a rattlesnake — managed to escape to the U.S. after entering the secondary examination area at Wild Horse, MT on Aug. 5.
Drugs and weapons seized
Thirty-nine of the 51 undeclared firearms seized at the border crossings were found at Coutts, Alta. — the most seized at any border crossing in Western Canada. Officers also made 60 drug seizures, thanks in part to detector dog Trooper, who recently retired. A new detector dog, Comet, was also kept busy since coming onto the job in December.
In one case, officers at Wild Horse found 4.5 grams of suspected marijuana hidden in a potato chip can with a false bottom. A New York man was arrested.
Three undeclared firearms – including two handguns – were discovered in a storage compartment underneath a bed in a travel trailer at the Carway, Alta. border crossing on May 3.
Criminals caught at airport
An alleged child abductor was intercepted with her nine-year-old stepson at the Calgary International Airport last March as they were returning from South America. CBSA agents were able to reunite the boy with his biological mom at the airport, and the step-mother, who had been the subject of a Canada-wide arrest warrant, was turned over to police.
CBSA officials also helped break up a multi-million-dollar fraud ring. Anshul Edison Fernando, wanted for fraud and theft over $5,000 for his part in a defrauding an elderly man, was arrested at the airport.
Among the 184 narcotics seizures was a May 28 case where officers found a 25-gram bag of cocaine hidden inside a hollow porcelain clown statue.
In December, a detector dog named Kodiak discovered an array of prohibited food products belonging to a traveller from Egypt who hadn't declared any food items. A secondary exam revealed otherwise, and officers found:
- 9.55 kg of whole raw duck
- 6.6 kg of whole raw chicken
- 3.33 kg of pastrami
- 1.77 kg of homemade butter
- 92.5 grams of miscellaneous, unpackaged seeds
- 750 grams of milk.
By the numbers
2.2 million: Travellers screened by CBSA at the airport
$1.7 million: Value of 116 currency seizures at the airport
7: Child pornography seizures
29: Weapons seizures at the airport, including crossbows
10,105: Permanent resident landings
1: Person believed to be having a heart attack assisted by CBSA officers at Coutts
1.1 million: Travellers in 464,000 cars and 129,000 commercial trucks at Alberta border crossings