CBSA drug seizure at Abbotsford International Airport results in six-year sentence

News release

Drugs seized by CBSA officers on March 29, 2023, after being found within the false side of a suitcase.

January 4, 2024     Abbotsford, British Columbia     Canada Border Services Agency/Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are committed to safeguarding our country and keeping illegal and dangerous drugs from reaching our communities. 

On March 29, 2023, CBSA officers at the Abbotsford International Airport seized two kilograms of methamphetamine and one kilogram of cocaine from a Mexican traveller seeking entry to Canada from Puerto Vallarta. The drugs were discovered within the false side of a suitcase after border services officers noticed anomalies in the luggage. The traveller was arrested and taken into custody by the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime Unit.

On November 27, 2023, Martha Alvarado-Lopez was sentenced to six years of imprisonment for the following charges under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act:

  • Importation of a Controlled Substance contrary to section 6(1); and
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking, contrary to section 5(2).


“Border services officers are highly trained in detecting concealed contraband and are committed to protecting the integrity of Canada’s borders. This seizure and conviction demonstrate the important partnership between the CBSA and the RCMP as we work together to keep illegal and dangerous drugs from entering our communities.”

-       Nina Patel, Regional Director General, Pacific Region, Canada Border Services Agency

“This is an excellent example of the CBSA, and the BC RCMP Federal Policing program’s cohesive and sustained efforts in jointly protecting Canada’s border, through detection, deterrence, and successful prosecution of criminal networks. In addition to the CBSA and the RCMP’s shared responsibility of protecting our border, it also demonstrates the shared dedication of our officers to protect Canadians from the most serious criminal threats facing our nation.”

-       A/Superintendent Jillian Wellard, Officer in Charge of the BC RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime - Federal Operations Major Projects program.

Quick facts

  • From January 1 to October 31, 2023, the CBSA’s Pacific Region made 6,389 illegal narcotic seizures, including 7,900 kg of methamphetamine and 239 kg of cocaine. For more highlights, visit the 2023 Year in Review.

  • Smuggling narcotics and other Customs Act contraventions may lead to prosecution in a court of law. For foreign nationals this may mean removal from Canada, and a ban on returning to Canada. 

  • For the latest narcotics and enforcement statistics, visit Canada Border Services Agency seizures.

  • Anyone with information about suspicious cross-border activity is encouraged to call the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060 or submit a tip online.


Media Relations

Canada Border Services Agency


Twitter: @CanBorderPAC

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