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2 men charged in massive Winnipeg cocaine bust worth more than $1 million

Winnipeg police make 19-kilogram cocaine bust
Head of the Winnipeg police gangs and guns unit, Inst. Max Waddell talks about a large cocaine bust the unit made following a months-long investigation.

Police have made two arrests in one of the largest cocaine busts in Winnipeg’s history.

As first reported Global News Wednesday city police stopped two vehicles and arrested two men in Headingley on Sunday.

In all, police seized 19 kilograms of cocaine with a street value of more than $1.5 million — making it one of the largest cocaine busts in the city’s history — as well as 20 lbs. of illicit pot with a street value of more than $90,000.

Further details about the seizures were released at a Thursday morning press conference.

READ MORE: Drug investigation started in Winnipeg leads to $10 million bust in Calgary

Police say Sunday’s bust followed a months-long investigation by the guns and gangs unit into an independent, inter-provincial drug cell started last October.

Guns and Gang Unit head Inst. Max Waddell said the drug cell was suspected of trafficking multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine into Winnipeg.

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Police say two suspects were identified, one from Winnipeg and another who was regularly travelling to the city with illicit drugs.

Winnipeg police seized 19 kilograms of cocaine during a drug bust Sunday.
Winnipeg police seized 19 kilograms of cocaine during a drug bust Sunday. Randall Paull/Global News

On Sunday police say officers watched as the two suspects met at a Headingley gas bar to make a transaction.

The men, one driving a Jeep Wrangler and the other a semi tractor-trailer, were arrested after police say four kilograms of cocaine was exchanged.

The rest of the seized cocaine and pot was allegedly found during a subsequent search of the semi-trailer.

READ MORE: Winnipeg cops seize cocaine in Charleswood raid

Both vehicles were also seized, say police.

Jay Marte Santos, 42 of Winnipeg, and 36-year-old Balbir Singh Nahal, of Abbotsford, B.C., have been charged with unlawful possession for the purpose of trafficking a controlled substance.

Nahal was also charged with possession for purpose of distributing cannabis and possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000.

Both men have been detained in custody.

Police say the investigation is ongoing, although no further arrests are anticipated.

Winnipeg police drug bust nets more than $120K in drugs
Winnipeg police drug bust nets more than $120K in drugs