Police investigation ties Grassy Lake to Mexican drug cartel
Over 15 thousand pounds of cocaine was seized by US Special Agents before it made its way to a small Southern Alberta town.
“It’s kind of one of those towns where you go to your neighbor to borrow stuff, a guy down the street has a tool you may need, you go up to him and borrow it,” Said Jacob, a Grassy Lake resident who did not want his last name published. “Everybody knows everybody, everybody knows everybody’s name.”
Grassy Lake is home to 600 people. It’s a tight knit Mennonite community in Southern Alberta and what Washington’s Drug Enforcement Administration believes was the destination for a massive shipment of drugs linked to the Jaurez Mexican drug cartel.
“The Jaurez cartel is one of the largest and also one of the most violent criminal organizations, criminal cartels in the world,”said Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Jim Schrant. “We’re characterizing this as a Mexican Mennonite organization, because a lot of the persons that made up this organization were in fact Mexican Mennonites. One of the things we noticed too with this organization and a lot of Mexican based criminal organizations is they actually prefer smaller locations, more rural locations.”
“They feel it’s easier to avoid police detection and that it’s more easy to go unnoticed.”
The DEA says these kind of drugs have made their way to Southern Alberta before, stashed in hidden compartments aboard equipment familiar to its fields.
“There were master machinists and master builders in Mexico that were able to create very secret, specialized compartments in old machinery, old tractors, old farm equipment, old farm implements, things like that,” said Schrant.
The quiet town is reeling after hearing news of the seizure, news that some of their own have been linked to the Jaurez drug cartel.
“Very low crime community, it’s very closely knit,” said Jacob. “If somebody gets in trouble every soon knows.”
The DEA worked with RCMP through out the investigation and say its a small win in a much larger problem.
Seven people has been charged in relation to the drug seizure. Their names and location have yet to be released, as RCMP and the DEA continue to investigate.