Three men have been arrested on drug-trafficking charges for allegedly importing over a tonne of pure cocaine. The investigation began in July and resulted in the seizure of a quarter-billion dollars’ worth of pure cocaine.
The cocaine was packed into quartzite stones that were so well put together, police dogs couldn’t even sniff them out. It was an anonymous, public tip that eventually led to the arrest of three individuals involved as well as seizing the bricks of cocaine.
According to OPP deputy commissioner Rick Barnum, the grand weight of the seizure is 1,062kg, and the lab results concluded that the cocaine was 97% pure. The cocaine would have eventually ended up all over Canada to be cut with other more dangerous substances, like fentanyl, which in even the tiniest doses can cause permanent brain damage or death.
The three accused, one Costa Rican and two Canadians, have allegedly been in business together since 2014.
Barnum said the business for the three accused was rather the importation of the bricks as opposed to the distribution of the drug as there tends to be more money in importing.
The accused would cut the stones open, fit several one-kilogram bricks/bundles and then reseal the stones. The OPP commissioner claims that cement was used to reseal the stones, hence why it was so difficult for police dogs to detect the substances.
“It made it very, very difficult to detect, almost impossible, quite frankly, without the investigative phase of our work,” said Barnum. “It was detected through work from our intelligence operations in conjunction with Peel police, through good old police work following up leads through the information we received.”
Drug caches were discovered inside warehouses in Brampton, and Stoney Creek, according to Barnum. It was transported from Argentina in shipping containers. While Argentina is not known as a manufacturer of cocaine, much of the product tends to be smuggled into Argentina as it is a link for countries like Peru, Paraguay, and Bolivia.
Barnum alleges that there are Mexican cartel operatives within Ontario although he is not sure how many.