SAINT JOHN – NEWS – Keeping illegal and dangerous drugs out of Canada saves lives. In early January 2022, more than 1.5 tonnes of cocaine was seized by border services officers in Saint John, New Brunswick (NB), following a sophisticated drug smuggling investigation by the CBSA and RCMP.
The narcotics were discovered concealed inside the cargo of a marine container. This represents the largest quantity of cocaine seized from a marine shipping container in Atlantic Canada in three decades. The CBSA has valued the seizure at approximately $198,000,000.
The operation began in the fall of 2021, when CBSA Intelligence received information about exported shipments originating from Central America. At that time, the CBSA and the RCMP worked together to move the investigation forward.
In December 2021, CBSA began tracking a marine shipping container of interest which contained goods imported by a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resident and exported from Central America, with a final destination of Saint John, NB.
On January 7, 2022, the shipping container was examined at the Port of Saint John, NB, where border services officers initiated a complex and lengthy examination, which led to the seizure of the significant amount of cocaine found concealed inside the container. All evidence was turned over to the RCMP for further investigation.
On January 27, 2022, Ontario RCMP Federal Policing executed a search warrant in Brantford, Ontario, with assistance from the CBSA, Brantford Police Service, and several area municipal police services. Six people were arrested at the scene, five were released with no charges pending.
On January 28, 2022, Kyle Alexander Purvis (34) of Brantford, Ontario, appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice. Purvis was charged with importing a controlled substance into Canada and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking. He was released under strict conditions, including electronic monitoring, pending a court appearance on March 3, 2022. The investigation is ongoing.
The success of this operation can be attributed to the outstanding collaboration of multiple CBSA units, including teams in GTA Region, Atlantic Region and International Operations Division, as well as the RCMP in both Ontario and New Brunswick.
In support of the search warrants and arrests on January 27, 2022, the CBSA and RCMP would like to recognize the efforts and collaboration of the Brantford Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Peel Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, and Durham Regional Police.