Article by Angela Stelmakowich, Growth Op
The Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y. was once again the location for a cannabis seizure topping US$1.3 million ($1.6 million).
Despite the load being manifested as carrying “empty plastic bottle,” officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility opted for a closer look. And then the drug-sniffing dog got involved.
Singled out for additional examination last Thursday, the truck and trailer were sent for a non-intrusive examination that revealed anomalies in the trailer, notes a statement from CBP. A K-9 did a check by walking around the vehicle and alerted officer after sniffing out the cardboard boxes inside.
A physical search of the boxes revealed vacuum-sealed bags containing suspected cannabis, with a field test indicating positive for the properties of marijuana.
In all, CBP officers confiscated 655 pounds (297 kilograms) of cannabis in the commercial shipment estimated to be worth more than $1.3 million ($1.6 million).
Once again, “illegal contraband was prevented from hitting the streets of our great Nation,” acting Buffalo port director Gaetano Cordone says in the statement. CBP’s Buffalo Field Office covers 16 ports of entry throughout New York State.
Since COVID-related traffic restrictions came into effect about a year ago, the field office has made more than 1,600 drug seizures, most of those involving cannabis. Last September, the Buffalo Field Office reported that it had made 732 seizures totalling more than 40,600 pounds (18,416 kg) of narcotics from Oct. 1, 2019 through Aug. 31, 2020.
“In comparison to the same time frame last year, ports had 1,017 seizures totalling more than 3,440 pounds of narcotics. That’s an increase of more than 1,000 per cent,” the office noted at the time.