2012-09-14 11:48 PDT
Vancouver, British Columbia, September 14, 2012 - The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced today that 35 year old Ricardo Vasquez has been charged with unlawfully importing cocaine into Canada and unlawfully importing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, contrary to the Controlled Drug and Substances Act (CDSA).
On September 7, 2012, during a routine examination of bus passengers arriving at the Pacific Highway border crossing, border services officers noticed inconsistencies in the traveller's statements and referred him for a more thorough examination. It was during the more in-depth secondary examination, that officers determined that the traveller may have ingested narcotics in an attempt to smuggle drugs into the country. He was immediately arrested and escorted to a hospital, where the traveller's health could be monitored and suspected contraband obtained in a controlled environment. The traveller eventually expelled 66 condoms filled with suspected cocaine. The man was then turned over to RCMP, along with approximately 765 grams of the suspected cocaine.
Investigators from the RCMP Drug Enforcement Branch attended to assist with the investigation, handling of the exhibits and have completed the report to Crown Counsel. Federal drug investigators frequently work with CBSA officers after they successfully detect smuggling attempts.
Intercepting internal drug carriers is especially difficult, and this seizure clearly demonstrates the diligent work of CBSA officers, who used their examination and investigative skills, as well as overall training, to identify indicators of concealment, said Daniela Evans, CBSA’s Director of the Pacific Highway District. "Our officers play a vital role in preventing the entry of illegal and dangerous substances into Canada, and are committed to protecting the safety and security of Canadians and our communities."
CBSA conducted an impressive investigation which highlights the important role they play in preventing drug importations into Canada, and our job was simply to respond quickly and efficiently to assist, said Insp Murray Power, Operations Officer for the RCMP Drug Enforcement Branch.
Federal drug investigators use the intelligence gathered from seizures like this one to help fuel the higher level investigations into serious and organized crime groups impacting Public Safety in BC."
For media information
Faith St John,
Canada Border Services Agency
Sgt. Duncan PoundMedia Relations Officer