Cocaine found in fruit grinding machine
by RCMP - Story: 57483
Oct 12, 2010 / 2:55 pm
Oct 12, 2010 / 2:55 pm
Two West Kelowna men are in custody in connection with a large shipment of cocaine.
In all, three men from BC and one from Mexico, have been charged after Canada Border Services Agency intercepted 97.5 kilograms of cocaine bound for Kelowna and called in the RCMP’s Federal Drug Enforcement Branch.
The cocaine was discovered on September 22, 2010, while CBSA was inspecting a 2300 kilogram fruit grinding machine.
The machine had been shipped from Argentina through the United States and was intercepted at Vancouver Air Cargo Operations.
CBSA Border Services Officers noticed the machine was too heavy and its origin and destination were suspicious. A close examination found sophisticated hidden compartments concealing 97.5 kilograms of cocaine.
The RCMP Federal Drug Enforcement Branch then stepped in to lead the criminal investigation.
On October 4, 33-year-old Clifford Roger Montgomery and 50-year-old Barry Michael Ready, both of West Kelowna, were arrested.
Immediately following the arrests, the RCMP’s Federal Drug Enforcement Branch used a warrant to search a rural property outside of Merritt and a home in West Kelowna.
Montgomery and Ready are still in custody.
Arrest warrants have been issued for 43-year-old Victor Perez Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen, and 32-year-old Tariq Mohammed Aslam of Surrey.
All four men are facing two counts of Conspiracy to Import Cocaine and one count of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking.
“This investigation translates into more than 97,000 doses of cocaine, or between $3.5 and $3.9 million in drugs, that will never lead to addiction, violent behaviour, heart or lung problems, or an overdose or drug-related death,” says Superintendent Brian Cantera, Officer in Charge of the RCMP’s Federal Drug Enforcement Branch.
More than 50 RCMP investigators, including members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit- Gang Task Force, Integrated Border Enforcement Team, the Emergency Response Team, and many units throughout the Southeast District, helped with this file.
The RCMP Federal Drug Enforcement Branch is also working with the US Drug Enforcement Administration and our partners in Mexico and Argentina. Finally, the RCMP wants to remind the public that their support, along with their watchful eye, is always crucial in our efforts to keep people safe.
While this file may appear similar to last week’s investigation in Vancouver, there is no evidence they are linked.
|RCMP are still searching for 32-year-old Tariq Mohammed Aslam of Surrey in connection with the cocai|
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