Border patrol intercepts weed worth US$8 million at Peace Bridge

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The tally of cannabis seizures at the Peace Bridge running between Canada and the U.S. increased yet again last week when U.S. border officers in Buffalo discovered a commercial shipment with more than a ton of weed.

An internal inspection of a commercial shipment of 20 pallets revealed 2,145 vacuum-sealed packages of cannabis weighing 2,410 pounds (1,093 kg), according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The haul was estimated to have a street value of north of US $8 million.

The seizure is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HIS).

Staff efforts and an enforcement-focused approach “have produced record-setting results for narcotics seizures within the Buffalo Field Office,” which covers 16 ports of entry throughout New York State, port director Jennifer De La O says of the Oct. 15 seizure.

Over the last couple of months, multi-million-dollar cannabis seizures in Buffalo have included 3,836 pounds (1,740 kg) of weed, 250 kg of dried cannabis flower and 505 kg of weed manifested as office furniture.

Between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020, CBP’s Buffalo office made 1,600-plus narcotic seizures totalling more than 42,000 pounds (1,905 kg), with the Peace Bridge being no stranger to cannabis busts

The most recent bust ratcheted up total seizures by 2,000 pounds (907 kg) just since September. And during a very busy July, there were 134 narcotics seizures for a total of 3,425 pounds, or about 1,555 kg.

The Peace Bridge runs between Fort Erie, Ont. and Buffalo, N.Y. / Photo: DarleneMunro / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Photo: DarleneMunro / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Compare that to the Mar. 21 — when the border was shut to all but essential traffic — to June 14 period, when there was 286 narcotics seizures, 101 of which were for cannabis. Of the 8,708 pounds of drugs seized over those approximately three months, weed accounted for 8,576 pounds (3,890 kg).

In fact, Buffalo has become one of the most popular crossing spots for illicit weed between Canada and the U.S. HSI agents have estimated a pound of Canadian cannabis can fetch as much as US$6,000, according to WGRZ Newsadding that most weed from Canada into the U.S. is linked to organized crime and destined for cities along the Eastern Seaboard.

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