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Nearly $6 million in suspected cocaine seized at Manitoba border: CBSA

Millions of dollars worth of suspected cocaine was seized at the Canada-U.S. border in Manitoba two weeks ago in what police are calling one of the biggest busts in the last five years.

On July 14, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) seized more than 63 kilograms of suspected cocaine after examining a semi-trailer that was crossing the border at Emerson.

Director Rossel Lapointe with the CBSA said with the help of drug-detecting dogs, officers were able to find the drugs hidden in a shipment of corn. He said the drugs have an estimated street value of $6 million.

“This is the agency’s largest land border narcotics seizure in Manitoba in the last five years,” said Lapointe.

The driver of the truck, a 31-year-old man from Winnipeg, has been charged with importation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

He was taken into custody by Manitoba RCMP and appeared in federal court on July 19. He has since been released from custody on conditions.

Insp. Joe Telus with the RCMP, said the drugs are going to be tested by Health Canada to confirm it is cocaine.

“If it is in fact cocaine that was seized, 63 kilos is a significantly large seizure. For context, cocaine is commonly sold by the gram at the street level. We seized 63 kilos of cocaine, which could equate to 60,000 street-level drug transactions that are not happening,” said Telus.

He noted this bust will be a large disruption to drug networks throughout the country.

“When we disrupt drug networks, we are disrupting lucrative organized crime activities. Time and again, we have seen how illicit drugs destroy lives, homes and communities. The RCMP is committed to an integrated approach to disrupting the supply of illicit drugs coming into this country.”

Lapointe said that while this was one of the largest busts in the last five years, CBSA officers make significant seizures often.

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