New York State border officials are buried like never before with “made in Canada” cannabis, having intercepted US $ 120 million worth of the drug in the past year.
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“The quantities of marijuana seized in the territory of our Buffalo detachment are up over 1000% from the previous year. It is major ”, explained to Journal Supervising Officer Aaron Bowker from the Buffalo-based US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office.
This is one of the side effects of the legalization of cannabis that has now been in effect for two years in Canada and which The Journal addresses in a series of articles published today.
Between the fall of 2018 and 2019, the officers responsible for controlling this part of the border separating New York State from Quebec and Ontario confiscated 3,442 kg of marijuana in the ports and border crossings for which they are responsible, including that of Champlain, the American neighbor of our customs at Lacolle.
But for a year, they have seized … 40 333 kg.
Despite the pandemic
“Our foreclosures were expected to increase in the first year after legalization in Canada. But not the second and never at this point. It opened our eyes to what organized crime is ready to do to reap profits, ”added the agent.
Smugglers, who have lost at least 30% of their sales to the legal market in Canada, have flooded the American Northeast even though the border has been closed to non-essential travel for seven months due to the pandemic.
They mostly use truckers to conceal cannabis among legitimate commercial goods that they transport to the United States, according to the US customs agency.
Since this spring, his sleuths have found quantities varying between 250 kg and four tonnes of pot hidden in loads of peat, steel cables or chemicals.
“We can see with this increase that the restrictions in force at the border will not stop criminal organizations,” said Rose Brophy, director of operations for the CBP detachment in Buffalo.
The 40,000 kg of marijuana its agents seized are worth more than US $ 120 million.
“Here is so much money of which these organizations are thus deprived and which they will not be able to reinvest”, she added.
The value of marijuana here has climbed 50% in New York state over the past 10 years and is now trading between $ 3,500 and $ 4,000 a pound, according to Aaron Bowker.
Related offenses cannabis in 2019
1320 offenses sanctioned by the police under the new Cannabis Act in Quebec
550 offenses for possession of illegally obtained dried cannabis
259 charges for illicit cultivation of cannabis
1399 people arrested for drug-impaired driving
23 for sale of cannabis to a minor
133 for sale of cannabis to an adult
118 for possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking
1209 seizures of illegal cannabis by the police officers of the Accès Cannabis program in Quebec for two years, for a quantity totaling 8,505 kilos.
Source: Quebec Ministry of Public Security