Drugs increasingly being smuggled into Canada by truckers
Cocaine moving via land from Mexico on trucks bound for Canada
At least a dozen truckers from the Greater Toronto Area have been charged with smuggling drugs into Canada in recent years, a trend that appears rooted in the changing nature of the drug trade.
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Richard Pollock has prosecuted many of the cases involving the truckers from the GTA, which he says have involved millions of dollars of cocaine being moved on trucks headed to Canadian destinations.
"They're usually multi-kilo seizures, anywhere from 15 to 150 kilos," Pollock told CBC News in a recent interview.
In one of the most recent cases, a Mississauga man has been accused of trying to import $10-million worth of cocaine into Canada. It was found inside a shipment that was sent from California.
In Windsor, Ont., another man from Peel Region is currently on trial for attempting to smuggle 69 kilograms of cocaine into Canada, which is estimated to be worth $7-million on the street. His trial began Tuesday.
Cocaine hidden in fruit, vegetables
Border agents have found bricks of cocaine stuffed in fruit and vegetable shipments. In other cases the drugs have been stuffed into bags and stashed in hidden compartments.
Cocaine is now being moved across the border via land, rather than through the ports that were used in smuggling operations in the past.
"All the cocaine in Canada, pretty much, likely comes via Mexico at this point and time. And so, yes, we're not as far away as we really think from illicit activity south of the U.S. border," Pollock said.
Moving drugs is a dangerous business that can have deadly consequences.
In May 2009, two men were found dead in the trunk of a car in Pickering, Ont.
One of the men, Harjinder Singh Sandhu, was a trucker from Brampton, Ont., who was awaiting trial on smuggling charges.
With a report from the CBC's John Lancaster