Multiple truck drivers in Toronto facing drug smuggling charges
On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in Drug Trafficking on Thursday April 11, 2013.
According to authorities, there is a growing trend of truckers using their vehicles to help transport drugs into the Toronto area. At least 12 truckers from Toronto have been charged with drug trafficking within the last few years, marking a shift in how drugs are moved across the border. This has also raised questions, however, of just how involved or knowledgeable the truckers are of their cargo.
According to the prosecutor who has handled the truck driver cases, the truckers who were charged with drug trafficking have been responsible for moving millions of dollars worth of cocaine with intended destinations inside of Canada. The drugs were usually part of large shipments that ranged from 15 to 150 kilograms. Border agents have reported that they have found large quantities of cocaine that were stuffed inside shipments of fruits and vegetables while other agents have found illegal drugs that were stuffed inside of hidden compartments in the vehicles.
One recent case involved a man from Mississauga who was charged with attempting to import $10 million worth of cocaine into the country, concealed in part of a shipment originating in California. Another man is on trial in Windsor due to allegedly attempting to traffic in a shipment of cocaine into the country that has an estimated street value of $7 million.
Individuals who are found to be in possession of illegal drugs may face serious charges, such as drug distribution, drug trafficking, charges regarding organized illegal drug activity or conspiracy charges. These individuals may face charges based on federal laws, provincial laws or a combination of the two. Because the long-term implications can be so severe, a person facing charges of this nature may opt to contact a Toronto solicitor experienced in defending accused individuals against drug charges. In some cases, the truck driver may be unaware of drugs concealed in a shipment, or he or she may have minimal involvement in the alleged crime, and the solicitor may be able to have the charges reduced or dismissed on these grounds.
Source: CBC News, “Drugs increasingly being smuggled into Canada by truckers,” 26 March 2013