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RCMP: Grand Forks men part of smuggling arrests

Boundary Sentinel
By Boundary Sentinel
September 24th, 2011

Two Grand Forks men, aged 31 and 40, were arrested along with six other men when the RCMP Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) seized approximately 119 pounds of marijuana en route to the United States.   The smuggling incident was intercepted on Wednesday, Sept. 21 when the team stopped a 2004 Ford F150 white pick-up truck without incident on Camp McKinney Road in Oliver.   The vehicle was heading south towards the United States border. Three males were arrested in this vehicle and approximately 119 pounds of marijuana was seized. This police action was part of a larger on-going investigation based in Kelowna over the past few months.   Further down the road, a second vehicle, a 1995 green Toyota 4Runner, was located in connection to this file, and an additional five males were arrested. The second vehicle contained various pieces of smuggling equipment such as camouflage clothing, camouflage backpacks, outdoor gear, and radios, indications that they planned to cross the border on foot with the contraband explained Corporal Dan Moskaluk, Media Relations Officer for the RCMP SouthEast District.  

“We believe it was an effort to get this contraband across the border via an illegal crossing as well on foot,” said Moskaluk. “We believe it’s tied to organized crime. Two of the individuals are known to police for unrelated incidents. We believe that at least one individual has connections to a known gang.”

  Both vehicles, the drugs and the equipment were seized. The eight men will be facing possible charges but their names and the specifics were not released at this time. They will be summoned to court at a later date. The eight men include four Kelowna residents, one Vernon resident, two Grand Forks residents and one from Kaleden.   The successful arrest of these individuals included the involvement of these agencies: North Okanagan Traffic Services, South Okanagan Traffic Services, Oliver/Osoyoos RCMP, Penticton Police Dog Service, Oroville Station US Border Patrol, Curlew Station US Border Patrol and the Penticton South Okanagan Similkameen Regional General Investigation Section as well as IBET.

Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) consist of Canadian and American law enforcement teams sharing information and resources to maximize border security. 

Categories: Crime

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