mulberry outlet bags Biggest dope bust links to Mexican cartels
Police smashed a dope smuggling ring with ties to murderous Mexican cartels, making the largest drug seizure in the OPP history.
Cops say the wide ranging international probe netted 1,062 kilograms of pure cocaine with an estimated street value of a staggering $250 million.
According to investigators, three suspects two Canadians and a Costa Rican were the masterminds behind to plot to flood Canadian streets with cocaine imported from Argentina.
never seen anything like this, OPP deputy commissioner Rick Barnum told reporters. would say there are definitely connections to Mexico and Mexican cartels. trio was allegedly linked to a smuggling operation that used ocean going freighters to transport the drugs, packed in shipping containers.
At the Port of Montreal, the OPP worked with the Canadian Border Services Agency to identify the containers.
The Bolivian marching powder would then be cut and distributed across Canada. The drugs were linked to similar caches of blow at CBSA warehouses in Montreal and Stoney Creek.
Discovering the coke was made more difficult because it was hidden inside hollowed out quartzite stones.
It believed the ring has operated since 2014.
The men allegedly set up a front selling stones, Barnum said.
would say the business was definitely cocaine importation, there a lot more money in making that than there is in selling stones, he said.
Agencies involved in the bust were: OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau (OCEB) and Provincial Operations Intelligence Bureau (POIB) in partnership with Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Peel Regional Police, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Luis Enrique Karim Altamarano, 52, of Vaughan, was charged with importation of cocaine, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and driving while disqualified.
Also charged with importation of cocaine and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking are Mauricio Antonio Medina Gatica, 36, of Brampton, and Iban Orozco Lomeli, 45, of Toronto.
Like similar probes, the investigation began with a tip from the public that led to a traffic stop May 1 and the seizure of about 40 kilograms of cocaine.