CBSA seizure of record amount of methamphetamine leads to RCMP charges

News release

CBSA officers seized a record-breaking 228 kgs of methamphetamine at Coutts port of entry on Christmas Day 2020.

January 27, 2021        Coutts, Alberta
Canada Border Services Agency/
Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) remain committed to protecting and supporting Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On December 25, 2020, while facilitating the entry of essential goods at the Coutts, Alberta port of entry, CBSA officers referred a semi-truck hauling produce for further inspection. While examining the shipment, CBSA officers uncovered 228.14 kg of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of $28.5 million. This amount of methamphetamine translates to 2.28 million individual dosages.

This is the CBSA’s largest seizure of methamphetamine at a land border crossing on record across Canada. 

CBSA officers arrested the driver and turned the individual in to and the evidence over to Alberta RCMP. After a thorough investigation, the RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) has since charged Amarpreet Singh Sandhu, 38, of Calgary on the following counts pursuant to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:
• Importation of a Controlled Substance, contrary to Section 6(1); and,
• Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking, contrary to Section 5(2).

Sandhu was released from custody on January 14, 2021, and is scheduled to appear in court on February 11, 2021, at the Lethbridge Provincial Courthouse.

Seizing and effectively preventing this enormous amount of methamphetamine from reaching our streets will have a positive impact on the safety of all Alberta communities. This seizure reflects our mutual commitment to providing excellent law enforcement services to the communities to which we serve and protect.

This seizure, arrest and subsequent charges were only made possible due to the close partnership the CBSA and RCMP have in monitoring and investigating cross-border smuggling of illicit drugs. 

Additional multimedia

The CBSA estimates the street value in this case at $28.5 million.

Quotes

“While many Canadians were celebrating Christmas at home, border services officers at Coutts remained on the front line to protect our country. It is because of CBSA officers’ diligence while screening essential goods that this record amount of methamphetamine did not reach our streets or cause harm to our communities.”
– Ben Tame, Director, Southern Alberta and Southern Saskatchewan District, Prairie Region, Canada Border Services Agency

“The success of this operation is a testament to the strong partnership the RCMP shares with CBSA, and law enforcement agencies across Canada. We know that crime has no borders and it is imperative that we continue working with our partners, like CBSA, to share information and coordinate enforcement action as needed to keep Canadians from the harms of illegal drugs and crime related to smuggling in Alberta and all of Canada.” 
Superintendent K.C.A. (Allan) Lai, A. Federal Policing Operations Officer, Alberta RCMP Federal Policing Criminal Operations

Quick facts

  • Methamphetamine is a powerful synthetic stimulant. It is illegal, highly addictive, and very dangerous to a person’s health. 

  • The Integrated Border Enforcement Team under Federal Policing directly supports the Alberta RCMP Strategic Framework providing enhanced support to the safety and security of Albertans.   

  • The previous CBSA record for amount of methamphetamine seized at a land border crossing was approximately 200 kg, from an incident on December 24, 2019 at the Ambassador Bridge port of entry in Windsor, Ontario. 

  • The CBSA and the RCMP work together to prevent illegal drug smuggling that endangers the safety of Canadian communities and generates profits for organized crime. 

  • The Coutts border crossing is located on Highway 4 approximately 109 km southeast of Lethbridge. 

     

Associated links

Contacts

Mylene Estrada-del Rosario
Communications Adviser
Canada Border Services Agency
Mylene.Estrada-delRosario@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca 

Cpl. Tammy Keibel
Media Relations Officer
RCMP K Division Strategic Communications & Media Relations
Tammy.Keibel@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
403-420-4866


Follow us on Twitter at @CanBorderPRA and @RCMPAlberta.
 

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