That’s a whole lot of “peat moss!” A major drug bust at the Canada-U.S. border uncovered more than 1.5 tonnes of marijuana last week, disguised as peat moss. According to law enforcement officials, the stash was on its way from Ontario to New York City.
In a press conference on Tuesday, June 16, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) confirmed that officers had discovered 3,346 pounds of cannabis in a shipment on June 13.
According to CBP, the huge amount of pot was disguised as peat moss, a plant material that’s often used in gardens.
Officers believe the massive shipment was on its way from Ontario to New York City, before it was stopped at the Peace Bridge.
Authorities suspect the marijuana was intended to be sold as street drugs on the American East Coast, where it would have an estimated value of US$5 million, or CAD$6.7 million.
Per Global News, it was the biggest drug bust in the history of the Buffalo port area.
A 30-year-old man was arrested at the border, and now faces charges of unlawfully importing marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. Upon conviction, he could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
In May, @CBP continued to take action to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across borders and to facilitate essential… https://t.co/lb8QESkZhS— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBP Mark Morgan) 1591980386.0
Despite the fact the Canada-U.S. border has been closed to all non-essential travel since March, border agents are reporting an increase in illegal drug activities.
Just days prior to the June 13 bust, another huge seizure occurred at the Peace Bridge, which links Ontario's Niagara region to Buffalo, New York.
On June 5, officers discovered 1,800 pounds of pot hidden within a shipment of coffee makers.
More than 2.5 tonnes of cannabis was seized in total during the two busts.
.@CBPBuffalo seized nearly 1,800lbs of marijuana within a commercial shipment last week. Since the temporary restri… https://t.co/VCxdA5tDiv— CBP (@CBP) 1591927263.0
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has also reported several large busts recently.
On June 10, a release from the CBSA confirmed that over 3,000 pounds of suspected cannabis were seized from two locations in the GTA.
The drugs from those busts have an estimated street value of $10.8 million.
“Under the Cannabis Act, it is illegal to import into Canada, or export from Canada, cannabis without a valid permit, issued by the Government of Canada,” explains the CBSA.
*This article's cover image is for illustrative purposes only.