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Police say they have uncovered and dismantled one of the biggest drug rings they have ever encountered. Ontario authorities arrested three people, including two Canadians and one Costa Rican, all of whom are now being held on drug crime charges. It will be up to prosecutors to actually prove the alleged connection between these individuals and the seized drugs.
According to the police report, a sting operation taking place in multiple countries across the world ended up capturing some 1,062 kilograms of uncut cocaine. The estimated value of pure cocaine in this volume on the street is approximately $250 million. The three individuals arrested in Canada as part of this operation are believed to have masterminded the whole thing.
They are accused of being connected to smugglers who use international freighters to ferry drugs in shipping containers. The drugs were apparently hidden inside quartzite stones, which is partly why it has taken since 2014 for police to catch up with this operation. The men are now bring charged with a variety of drug-related crimes, including possession with intent to distribute, possession for the purpose of trafficking and importing drugs. If found guilty, all three could face considerable time in prison.
Drug crime charges of this severity, however, are not always easy to prosecute. Ontario authorities will have to provide a litany of evidence linking all three individuals to the alleged crimes. In sting operations this large, it is not uncommon for some elements of protocol to be lax or missed altogether. Defense representation will likely wish to review the sting operation records to determine whether the arrests were conducted in accordance with required procedures.
Source: Toronto Sun, “Biggest dope bust links to Mexican cartels“, Brad Hunter, Aug. 28, 2017