Montreal

U.S. border agents seize 166 kilos of cocaine headed into Quebec

Officers discovered an empty, custom-made compartment in the front of the truck. Inside were 142 brick-shaped packages of cocaine.

The driver of the Quebec-registered truck and trailer was charged in federal court

In this May 2019 photo, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials stand at the new border crossing facility on the U.S.-Canadian border in Derby Line, Vt. Court documents say federal agents seized 166.6 kilos of cocaine that was hidden in a truck on Dec. 7. (Wilson Ring/The Associated Press)

U.S. federal agents seized 166.6 kilos of cocaine hidden in a truck preparing to enter Canada at Vermont's Derby Line border crossing on Dec. 7, according to court documents.

The cocaine, packed in 142 brick-shaped packages, was found in a hidden compartment by agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection with the help of a drug-sniffing dog, said an affidavit filed in the case.

The driver of the Quebec-registered truck and trailer, Jason Nelson, was charged in federal court in Plattsburgh, New York, with possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

His age and nationality were not listed in court documents. Nelson is being held pending a hearing next week. His lawyer did not immediately return a request for comment, Saturday.

The truck was first searched at the Alexandria Bay, New York, port of entry two days before when the truck entered the United States.

Officers then discovered an empty, custom-made compartment in the front of the truck, the document said.

Nelson told officers he was headed to Tremont, Pennsylvania. The truck was carrying furniture.

Just before 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 7, Nelson and his truck arrived at the Derby Line Port of Entry.

In Vermont a drug-sniffing dog indicated the presence of narcotics. A further search by border agents discovered the bricks.

A random sampling of the packages field tested positive for cocaine, the documents said.