The Canada-led Hammerhead Undertaking is devouring weed smuggling

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Half a ton of cannabis was seized and seven people were arrested in connection with multiple efforts.

Article author:

Angela Stelmakowich

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February 19, 2021 • • 2 days ago • • Read for 2 minutes The Hammerhead project, led by the CBSA, is investigating “the supposedly sophisticated cross-border smuggling organization that uses the Akwesasne area as a transit point to facilitate the smuggling of firearms, marijuana and currency across the Canadian-American border.” /. Photo from Canada Border Services Agency, Twitter

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An operation led by the Canada Border Services Agency that involved police and customs officers on both sides of the Canada-US border grossed well over half a ton of cannabis and nearly half a million cash in cash.

In particular, authorities seized 556 kilograms of weeds, $ 467,480 in Canadian currency, $ 3,000, three magazine-loaded small arms and five vehicles, a CBSA statement said earlier this week.

The seizures follow three search warrants executed simultaneously in Cornwall, Ontario, Cornwall Island and Hogansburg, NY, on January 28th. These searches resulted in the arrest of two Cornish residents, one from Cornwall Island and one from St. Regis, Que. and three from Hogansburg.

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Cornwall resident Mark Rudolph, 35, was charged with importing and exporting cannabis, three cases of possession of a firearm in violation of a Prohibition Ordinance, possession of property obtained through offenses over $ 5,000, conspiracy to commit one criminal act, four cases of careless storage of a firearm or ammunition, three counts of knowledge of unauthorized possession of a firearm and three counts of possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm.

The other six were arrested by the Department of Homeland Security, five of whom were charged with conspiracy violations of knowingly and deliberately distributing and possessing more than 100 kilograms of marijuana for distribution.

The seizure is part of the CBSA-led Hammerhead project. The project examines the “supposedly sophisticated cross-border smuggling organization that uses the Akwesasne area as a transit point to facilitate the smuggling of firearms, marijuana and currency across the Canadian-American border.”

Cannabis bud and leaf with handcuffs depicting legal, legal and decriminalization concepts “This joint investigation disrupted a criminal organization that posed a significant threat to both the US and Canadian communities.” /. Photo by Gleti / iStock / Getty Images Plus

“The coordination and teamwork of all agencies involved shows how our close partnerships benefit the security of Canadians and protect our borders,” said Stephanie Chenier, CBSA director for intelligence and enforcement in Northern Ontario, in the statement.

“This joint investigation disrupted a criminal organization that posed a significant threat to both the US and Canadian communities and brazenly exploited our shared border for illegal profits,” argues Kevin Kelly, homeland security investigator special.

“The Hammerhead project demonstrates that law enforcement collaboration is critical to identify, investigate and prosecute criminal organizations that are using our border to advance their interests,” added Superintendent Shawn Boudreau, who is responsible for the RCMP officer responsible for border integrity.

Despite COVID-19 and the travel restrictions in place for almost a year, smuggling cannabis and other drugs continues at border crossings, including in Ontario and Quebec.

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