by Tijana Martin and Lorena Rodgers
It’s being called the biggest methamphetamine seizure at an Alberta border crossing.
On Jan. 31, Season Truax, 40, of Calgary was crossing the border alone into Canada when she allegedly tried to smuggle 14.5 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine over the Del Bonita border crossing, southwest of Lethbridge.
“This is our first significant seizure of 2016. It is the largest ever methamphetamine seizure in the history of the land border crossing in Alberta,” said Darryl Anderson, Superintendent with the CBSA, Friday morning at the Raymond RCMP detachment.
“It shows our commitment together to keep drugs out of our country. Del Bonita is a small border crossing. We have six full-time officers, so this is not limited to major border crossings,” said Anderson.
“This is coming through everywhere and our officers are diligent and they’re going to have the perseverance to detect, find and use our resources to make these arrests.”
He noted Albertans should feel confident in the officers working the frontline of our borders as they have the technology, tools and resources to find deeply concealed narcotics.
Anderson said it took the cooperation of different law enforcement agencies in acheiving this bust, from CBSA to RCMP, including canine units and those using advanced technology.
This seizure happened Sunday, January 31 at 3:30 p.m., when Del Bonita border officers referred an SUV for a routine examination.
During the inspection, they noticed multiple inconsistencies in the rocker panels and a decision was made to transfer the vehicle and Truax to the Coutts border services office.
“At Coutts, we verified the indicators by using our detector dog service; detector dog Comet indicated on the vehicle that there was a presence of narcotics,” Anderson said. “We used an ion scanner to use trace technology to identify narcotics and we confirmed the indicators that the officers at Del Bonita had found.”
Once the rocker panels were dismantled, 14 packages of methamphetamine were found. CBSA officers then arrested Truax and transferred her and the drugs to the Raymond RCMP.
Truax was expected to appear at Lethbridge provincial court on Friday morning. She is facing three charges: importation of a schedule one substance; possession for the purpose of trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act; and smuggling under the Customs Act.
No street value dollar amount was released.
Last year CBSA officers made 87 seizures of narcotics or chemicals including suspected methamphetamine.
“Seizures such as this, occurring regularly across the country in our partnerships with CBSA, has an across-the-board impact on the harm reduction that can occur in our communities,” said Cpl. Sharon Franks, RCMP spokesperson for Southern Alberta District.
“This quantity of meth could be extremely harmful. The cost to society could be astronomical-in the billions of dollars.”