Brantford man facing charges in $200 million cocaine seizure

By Lynda Powless

Editor

A  Brantford man is facing charges after the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) seized 1.5 tonnes of cocaine valued at almost $200 million found in a shipping container that originated in Central America and destined for Saint John N.B. in early January.

A multi level police and border agency operation seized almost $200 million in cocaine hidden in a shipping container sent to New Brunswick. (RCMP March 4 2022 photo)

Kyle Alexander Purvis, 34, of Brantford has been charged with importing a Controlled Substance into Canada and Possession of a Controlled Substance for the Purpose of Trafficking after being arrested in a combined forces operation.

The CBSA, RCMP and Brantford Police along with five other police services launched the police operation on Mohawk Street, Brantford Jan., 27.

Police said the arrest and seizure was part of a sophisticated drug smuggling investigation by the CBSA and RCMP.

The seizure of narcotics found concealed inside the cargo of a marine container; police said represented the largest quantity of cocaine seized from a marine shipping container in Atlantic Canada in three decades. The CBSA valued the seizure at approximately $198,000,000.

The police operation began in the fall of 2021, when CBSA Intelligence received information about exported shipments originating from Central America and began working with RCMP.

By December 2021, the CBSA began tracking a marine shipping container “of interest” they said contained goods that were being imported by a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) resident and exported from Central America, headed to a final destination of Saint John, NB.

On January 7, 2022, the shipping container underwent  a “complex and lengthy examination” at the Port of Saint John, NB, that led to the seizure of the “significant amount of cocaine found concealed inside the container”. All evidence was turned over to the RCMP for further investigation.

On January 27, 2022, Ontario RCMP Federal Policing executed a search warrant in Brantford, Ontario, with assistance from the CBSA, Brantford Police Service, and several area municipal police services. Six people were arrested at the scene, only Purvis was charged.

Purvis was released under strict conditions, including electronic monitoring, pending a court appearance on March 3, 2022. The investigation is ongoing.

The CBSA and RCMP said the “operation’s success can be attributed to the outstanding collaboration of multiple CBSA units, including teams in GTA Region, Atlantic Region and International Operations Division, as well as the RCMP in both Ontario and New Brunswick.” The CBSA and RCMP worked in collaboration  with the Brantford Police Service, Waterloo Regional Police Service, Peel Regional Police, Hamilton Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police, and Durham Regional Police.

The Minister of Public Safety Marco E.L. Mendicino said “The safety and security of Canadians is our government’s top priority. I want to thank the Canada Border Services Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and regional law enforcement agencies who together disrupt criminal activity, protect Canadians and their families from the harmful impacts of drug smuggling, and ensure the integrity of our border.”

John Ossowski, President, Canada Border Services Agency called the operation  an example of co-operation.“ “Canada Border Services Agency employees are committed to detecting and intercepting contraband goods at the border. This seizure is a great example of how our officers in Canada and around the world work closely with our law enforcement partners to share intelligence, prevent illicit drugs from entering Canada, and protect our communities. I am extremely proud of our employees for their continued dedication to this important work.”

Michael Duheme, Deputy Commissioner Federal Policing, RCMP said the successful operation was “a great example of RCMP Federal policing’s effective joint work with its partners. Our Transnational Serious and Organized Crime unit in Kitchener worked directly with its CBSA counterparts on this significant seizure, and through their joint efforts we’ve been able to disrupt the drug trade and secure charges. All enforcement partners share the same goal and resolve to keep illegal drugs off of our streets. I commend our members, the CBSA and other partners involved in this investigation for their excellent work.”

 

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