Mounties say almost 100 kilograms (over 200 pounds) of what is believed to be cocaine was discovered at the Coutts border crossing in southern Alberta earlier this month.
The RCMP and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) joined together on Friday to release details of the record drug seizure.
It happened just before 1 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2.
The CBSA said a semi-truck and trailer attempting to cross the border was flagged for a search by border guards.
“There were two people in the truck, which was hauling a load of produce from California to a business here in Alberta,” spokesperson Guy Rook explained. “While searching the cab of the vehicle, officers opened a microwave and found eight bricks of a suspected narcotic.”
“A drawer beneath the microwave and an area behind the microwave revealed another 14 bricks of suspected narcotics. Continuing their examination, officers uncovered 18 bricks wedged between the end of the bed and the wall of the truck. When they lifted the top bunk mattress, they found another 44 bricks.”
In total, 84 bricks were recovered.
“This is the largest CBSA seizure of suspected cocaine on record in Alberta.”
“We really don’t know how much damage this shipment could have inflicted – but thanks to the diligence of CBSA officers and our RCMP partners – we will never have to find out,” Rook said.
“I want to stress to you just how big it is. If this cocaine were street ready, it would have been enough for over 100,000 hits.”
“A very conservative estimate for street value for this amount of cocaine, if sold at the gram level, could be worth anywhere between $6.7 to $8.4-million or more, depending on how it’s mixed, cut and sold,” RCMP Insp. Allan Lai explained.
Lai said RCMP have arrested and charged a man and woman: 31-year-old Gurminder Singh Toor and 26-year-old Kirandeep Kaur Toor, both of whom are from California. Both are charged with importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Both Gurminder and Kirandeep made their first court appearance on Dec. 5. Both remain in custody until their bail hearing on Friday.
The Coutts/Sweet Grass border crossing is located along Highway 4 in southern Alberta, about 300 kilometres south of Calgary.