Cross Border Services Blog
Cocaine bust in Alberta
At the Sweetgrass / Coutts border crossing into Alberta a transport truck was
pulled over for secondary screening because the driver was on the CBSA radar
as suspected of involvement in drug trafficking. During inspection the CBSA
border officers came across 83 one-kilogram bundles of cocaine stashed in
different locations within the cab area. The cocaine, valued at $5 million, was
found behind the microwave, under a mattress, in a duffel bag and inside the two
jockey boxes. Upon the truck being returned from the impound lot to the truck’s
owner, there was a further 17 one-kilogram packages that had apparently not
been found during inspection at the border. The 54-year-old driver was from
British Columbia and the junior driver, 32 years old, resides in Ontario. The
younger driver was new to Canada and to trucking, barely spoke English and
needed a translator during the inspection, questioning and trial. Both drivers
claimed that they were completely unaware of the cocaine being in the truck.
During the trial it was concluded that there was not enough hard evidence such
as DNA or fingerprints to prove beyond reasonable doubt that these two drivers
had anything to do with the placement of the cocaine in the truck. It was
concluded that the younger driver’s charges of possession with the intent to
traffic and importation of drugs into Canada were dismissed and the senior
driver, 54, his charges were stopped due to his passing away. I chose not to
identify names in this article out of respect to the families related to the death of
one of the drivers.
For more information about this article or safety & compliance programs such as
CTPAT, FAST, PIP, TTP, AEO, CSA, please contact Cross Border Services at
On March 1, 2016, a Minnesota man pleaded guilty in a Winnipeg, Manitoba
Court, to child pornography and was sentenced to 2 ½ years. Robert William
Roske from Minnesota was found smuggling digital and video images on his
electronic devices in his immediate possession, of child pornography. Roske was
attempting to enter Canada at the Sprague, MB port and was luckily referred for
secondary screening at which point he was caught and arrested. CBSA further
investigated and discovered 1,954 images and 389 video files, all of child
pornography, in Roske’s possession. CBSA, RCMP and Police are really cracking
down on this revolting criminal act. For the protection of all of our children;
we thank all of these Officers.
While carrying a load of tomatoes, truck driver Wayne Douglas Rutherford,
63, from Colborne, ON, pleaded guilty to drug smuggling when he was caught
crossing the Ambassador Bridge border into Canada with $6 million worth of
cocaine and methamphetamine. He had hidden the drugs in bricks within a false
wall panel in the nose of his trailer. He had in his possession 47 kilograms of
cocaine and 17 kilograms of methamphetamine and was convicted and charged with
possession with the purpose of trafficking. Rutherford had picked up the drugs
in Sacramento, CA after dropping a load of PVC pipes that had originated in
Ontario, CA. From there they picked up a load of tomatoes that were destined
for Montreal, CA. During routine x-ray of the truck, the strange looking added
panel was found, once opened the drugs were found inside. When Rutherford
pleaded guilty, he admitted to being a drug trafficker and using his truck to
carry drugs to and from USA and Canada.
On a recent Toronto bound flight incoming from Mexico, 188 kilograms of
cocaine was discovered. On January 17, 2016, during a routine cargo screening
at the Toronto Airport, Canada Border Services Agency Officers found and seized
the cocaine that was hidden in two wooden crates bundled into 100 bricks. The
RCMP was called in for investigation and arrests.
If you suspect anything suspicious or illegal please call either 911 or
the CBSA Border Watch Toll-free Line at 1-888-502-9060.
For further information
regarding Safety & Security Training, C-TPAT, FAST, PIP, TTP & CSA,
please contact Dawn Truell, Cross Border Services at: www.crossborderservices.org firstname.lastname@example.org
the Transportation Industry we have all been told about the importance of
conducting our safety inspections
pre trip and post trip. These safety
inspections are mandatory for both our driver logs for the MTO and DOT
requirements as well as those of us who are part of the C-TPAT, FAST
, PIP and
. But, are we all actually doing this every single day prior to
every single load that we do? Somewhere I think that the importance for safety
has been lost.
an innocent passenger vehicle driving along the highway 400 near King City, ON,
January 27, 2015, 9:20 AM, was struck by two flying loose commercial truck tires.
The gentleman driving that vehicle was killed when the two tires hit the
windshield shattering it to bits and collapsing the roof of his vehicle. Unfortunately
the truck driver, carrying a load of lumber, continued for 2 km before stopping
to realize what had just happened. The 69-year-old, Paul Koenderman, from
Burlington, ON, former CEO of Aecon Group Inc., was air lifted to a Toronto hospital
where he died from his injuries sustained when the two 200 lb. truck tires came
loose from the commercial truck body and hit his GMC Yukon.
amount of truck tires coming loose from the truck bodies whilst driving has
increased from 2010 and in fact just last year in 2015 there were 127 incidents
of these detached wheels just in Ontario.
the new Operation Wheel Check that was launched in Ontario in December 2015,
the requirements are getting more strict and to enforce this action the fines
are getting steeper ranging from $2,000 for minor infraction to $50,000 for
wheel separation. Daily inspections
are an absolute liability law by the MTO
and requires companies to do specific specialized training for the technicians
that are involved in the wheel installations.
enforcement with on-road inspections by specially trained police officers has
become the norm and their eyes are peeled for those operators failing to do
their proper inspections. Just since December 2015 there have been 1,800 trucks
and 10,000 wheels inspected by the ministry.
corners for truck safety inspections seems like a time saving idea when one is
in a hurry to make a shipment as time is money in our JIT era, however, we must
remember that lives are far more important here than monetary gains, after all,
what are we working for everyday? Money to support our lives and our families;
think about everyone else’s families out there that we could potentially be
putting in danger by not performing our daily pre trip and post trip
inspections properly. It shouldn’t have to take someone’s life to remind us of
how important these safety inspections truly are. The trucking company involved
in this unfortunate accident stated that their last inspection on this truck
was done January 22 and that their standard practice is to only inspect the
trucks once per week; according to MTO standards, you must inspect your truck
Daily for safety of the vehicle
including it’s tires.
The Recapture Of The Most Dangerous
Drug Lord Of All Time
For many years now we have been aiding in the fight against terrorism and
one of the biggest fights is against drug trafficking and smuggling. I’m sure
by now we have all heard of the loosely referred to as a man “El Chapo” aka Joaquín Guzmán, an
extremely dangerous excuse for a human being. Guzmán is worth over 1 billion
dollars himself and is the head of the Sinaloa
Cartel; unfortunately his wealth is all derived from drug monies and countless
murders. Being the head of one of the world’s largest drug cartels, Guzmán has
committed more murders and trafficked more drugs than any other Cartel leader
in history. Guzmán prides in calling himself “The Biggest Drug Lord Of All
Time”. Guzmán has single handedly raised more uncertainty among government
officials, law enforcement, drug dealers and smugglers and the Cartel
themselves. While Guzmán is back in the supposed highest security prison in
Mexico, the same one in which he escaped from only six months ago, for the
second time, federal law enforcement are trying to extradite him to the U.S.A.
Sean Penn conducted a recent interview for the Rolling Stone magazine,
which ultimately led to the recapture of El Chapo. While we are all thrilled
with this outcome, we have to wonder, at what cost to Penn. The Mexican
authorities had been tracking Penn during his visits with El Chapo. Mexican
actress Kate del Castillo, the daughter of famed Mexican actor Eric del Castillo,
who knew Joaquín
Guzmán personally, she helped to arrange the secret meeting in the mountains of
Mexico with Sean Penn while he was on the run in October just three months
before Guzmán was captured Friday, January 8, 2016. He was captured during a shootout,
in which at least five people were killed, in his hometown of Los Mochis,
Culiacan, Mexico, and was sent back to the same prison that he had escaped from
now twice! Brilliant!
Kate del Castillo had
written an appeal in 2012 for El Chapo in which she pleaded with Guzmán to do
good and to “traffick with love”. Guzmán’s lawyer was credited with contacting
Kate and aid that his gringos were anxious to tell his story; they were led to
believe that there was going to be a movie created about El Chapo’s life
story. Penn had described some high
security measures like disposable cell phones and some sort of encrypted
communications in order to keep the meeting as secret as possible. During the
interview they discussed such matters as drugs, drug smuggling, when El Chapo
began in the drug world, whether he felt at all responsible for the high level
of drug addiction around the world and terrorism around the world. Guzmán
stated that he has no remorse for anything he has done and that he is not at
all responsible for the drug problems around the world today.
Mexican President Enrique
Pena Nieto agreed that extraditing Guzmán to the U.S.A. for trial should be
done especially after the embarrassing escape second escape from Mexico’s
highest security prison. Guzmán’s lawyer Juan Pablo Badiillo challenged this of
course. Former Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam stated that this
extradition would only happen in 300-400 years, once Guzmán completed his
sentences in Mexico.
When Guzmán was captured he
was found in a small house in Los Mochis by the Marines, however, he and his
security chief El Cholo fled through storm drains, ran to stolen escape cars
but were later found and arrested on the highway.
El Chapo must now face the
judges from our citizens across the world, law enforcement and the court system
all the way up to God. The more dangerous drug lord of all time, who’s cartel
smuggles multi ton shipments of heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine and marijuana
around the world but mostly into the U.S.A. and Canada. Unfortunately this drug
lord has very good friends in very high places in the U.S.A. so seeing what the
end result will be will keep our eyes peeled open over the next few months.
Free Trade across the
Americas was invented not by whom you would think, not the U.S. President, not
the Prime Minister of Canada, the inventor you ask? It was none other than
Pablo Escobar, the wealthiest drug lord of all time with a net worth of over
$100 billion dollars. Joaquín Guzmán followed closely in Escobar’s footsteps
with this unburdened capitalism. We can only hope that this Monster never gets
out of prison. Will this stop the drug trafficking? Unfortunately no, these
drug lords have established channels through which the drug trafficking and
smuggling will continue on; our law enforcement teams across North America need
to focus in on catching the cartel members in order to cease this activity.
By: Dawn Truell, President, Cross Border
Expecting a busy Holiday Weekend
Traffic at Border
Several sporting and special events are
taking place in and around the Southern Ontario Region that will contribute to
higher volumes at our border crossings and may affect border wait times. The
CBSA will be monitoring traffic volumes and will use all available resources to
maintain service levels and minimize processing times, while ensuring the
safety and security of Canadians.
We encourage travellers to plan ahead and
help facilitate their border crossing by following some of these tips:
Anticipate lengthy border wait times and
Please make sure that you bring proper
identification for yourself and everyone in the vehicle readily available. Accepted
forms of identification for entry into U.S.A./Canada are passport, NEXUS card. enhanced
driver's license, Birth Certificate.
Know your personal exemptions, including
those for alcohol and tobacco. Remember there are no personal exemptions for
same-day cross-border shopping trips so be prepared to pay the harmonized sales
tax (HST) on your purchases and possibly duty.
ABSENT FROM CANADA
Less than 24 hours
No personal or alcohol/tobacco exemption
Up to Can $200
Alcohol/tobacco are not included
value of goods purchased exceeds $200, duty and taxes are applicable on entire
amount of imported goods
Goods must be in your possession at time
of entry to Canada
48 hours or more Can$800
Alcohol/tobacco within your limits can be
included—to find out your limits consult the CBSA website.
Declare all of your goods and have the
value of your purchases readily available. Failure to report all goods may lead
to penalty action up to and including seizure of the goods. Smuggling,
undervaluation and other Customs Act contraventions may also lead to
prosecution in a court of law.
Firearms or weapons must be declared at
the CBSA port of entry to Canada. Failure to declare any firearms or weapons
may lead to penalties, including seizure action and prosecution.
Know before you go. Certain goods are
prohibited or restricted from entering Canada including some food, plant and
animal products. You can find out more, by consulting the CBSA website.
The CBSA continues to remind all
travellers of the current restrictions on bringing poultry into Canada from
certain states in the United States. These restrictions apply to raw poultry,
poultry products and poultry by-products that are not fully cooked, including
eggs and raw pet foods. A list of the affected states and products can be found
on the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website.
If you are crossing the border with food,
plant or animal products, or if you are unsure whether the product is allowed,
declare the item and discuss it with a border services officer. Goods that are
not declared are subject to seizure and penalties, and could lead to
If travelling with pets, know that dogs
and cats that are three months of age or older need valid signed and dated
certificates from a veterinarian verifying vaccinations against rabies. These
are usually valid for 1-3 years. Service dogs are exempt when accompanied by
All travellers that an import permit
issued by Natural Resources Canada is required to import fireworks into Canada.
Fireworks that do not have the necessary permit will be refused entry into
Whether camping in Canada or returning
from a camping trip, all camping gear, recreational equipment and supplies must
be clean and free of pests and soil. Furthermore, firewood cannot be brought
into the country because it can introduce invasive species and spread disease
to Canada's trees. Campers should buy firewood on site, burn firewood on site,
and leave all unused firewood on site.
All private boaters entering or returning to
Canadian waters must report their arrival to the CBSA. When entering Canadian
waters, the master of the vessel must report to the CBSA upon arrival at a
CBSA-designated marine reporting site. If certain conditions are met, citizens
or permanent residents of Canada or the United States can report to the TRC
(1-888-226-7277) from the water using a cellular telephone at the location of
entry into Canadian waters. For more information on reporting requirements,
check the CBSA website.
Please Be Aware! There is a New Scam hitting our email in boxes right now! The appears to be from Canada Post - appears to be a shipment notification - I have verified with Canada Post that this is indeed a SCAM! Do NOT open this email or attachment! Canada Post has reassured me that if there were a shipment notification it would definitely NOT come to our emails! Canada Post leaves a Written message at our front doors be it home or business that there is a package to be picked up at the local post office, in cities this is at the Shopper's Drug Mart store locations, in towns this is at your local post office. If you are expecting a package you can simply log onto the Canada Post website and insert your tracking number that was given to you by whomever you purchased something from or had shipped by. Take care and stay safe out there!
National - Travel Info For This Long Weekend - Happy Canada Day!
CBS Dawn Truell offers road trip advice for border-crossing travellers this long weekend
Ottawa, Ontario, June 30, 2015 — Many families are making their Canada Day travel plans this week. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) reminds vacationers and other travellers heading to the United States that now is the best time to prepare for a fast, efficient return across the border at the end of their holiday. Savvy travellers know that they can hone their vacation planning by using tips to get ahead. For those planning to travel, the CBSA offers the following smart crossing tips.
1. Beat the border rush. Cross at a non-peak time.
Try to plan crossing the border in the morning, especially if you cross on Saturday or Monday. Most lineups at the border start building in the afternoon and carry on throughout the evening. You can also use Border Wait Times services to check lineups at most major ports of entry. The lists are updated regularly, and you can subscribe by Twitter
to see listings on the go. U.S.-bound
information is available.
2. Keep travel documents handy. An officer will scan them.
One of the best ways your family can save time returning to Canada is to make sure each passenger has the correct travel document
handy and ready to give to the border services officer. A passport is the best bet. For even faster service, become a NEXUS
card member and enjoy the benefits of an expedited border clearance process.
If you prefer to travel light while on the road, an enhanced driver's licence
might be for you. Other acceptable forms of ID include: birth certificates with accompanying photo ID such as regular driver's licences; permanent resident cards; citizenship cards or certificates of Indian status.
3. Know your purchases, know where your receipts are, and know your exemptions and restrictions.
4. Know the contents of your vehicles.
It's as important to declare certain items in your vehicle and/or boat when you return to Canada. For example, if you have food tucked away in coolers or organic items such as soil (for example, in a bait container) or firewood, make sure you tell the border services officer.
Has anyone noticed that since this miraculous inception of your bills going online visible only that suddenly you no longer know or remember what you owe to whom and when? Suddenly you get sent a threatening letter from so and so company that they're going to cut you off from whatever service they pertain to, you sit there and go whaaaaat? I've never missed a bill payment ever, now suddenly we no longer receive paper bills that are in our faces reminding us of what we owe and to whom and when! How many of you out there are with me on this one? Modern technology has extended itself in my opinion a little too far! Unless you are the type of person who has nothing better to do every day, you know like WORK, ya that's Work in order to pay those bills, yet has all day to sit on the computer and log in to every single site of every single service etc that is provided to us that we owe money to on a daily or monthly basis! I would like to petition all service company providers to please go back to sending us in the mail our statements! Yes I too am a tree hugger but I won't be hugging any trees in jail for non payment of bills that I didn't even know I had!!!!