Calgary man charged after 50 kilos of meth seized at Alberta-Montana border crossing

A Calgary man attempting to enter Alberta from the U.S. was arrested after border authorities seized approximately 50 kilograms worth of methamphetamine — the largest meth drug seizure in southern Alberta history by the Canada Border Services Agency.

Authorities found 33 bags weighing about 1.5 kilograms each in the cab of his semi-truck after searching the vehicle at the Coutts, Alta. border crossing, about 320 kilometres southeast of Calgary.

The drug bust has an estimated street value of $3 million and equates to roughly 500,000 doses.

Pictured is 50 kg of methamphetamine seized on July 29, 2019 at the Coutts border crossing

The incident took place on July 28 shortly after 5 p.m. when CBSA officers examined a commercial truck at the southern Alberta crossing with an empty trailer. In the truck cabin, they found a box and a duffel bag packed with bags of white crystals.

The drugs and vehicle were seized and the 40-year-old driver, along with the methamphetamine, was turned over to the RCMP.

RCMP Corporal Jon Cormier, left, RCMP Inspector Charlene O’Neill, CBSA Officer Shaun Skidmore and CBSA Director Guy Rook pose in front of 50 kg of methamphetamine seized at the Coutts border crossing on Thursday, August 1, 2019. AZIN GHAFFARI / POSTMEDIA CALGARY

“This seizure is remarkable given the amount seized. It shows that the scourge of illegal drugs is ever present and that enforcement is necessary, but only one part of the strategy,” said Guy Rook, director for southern Alberta at the CBSA.

“Drug smuggling may be an international problem but the downstream of domestic impacts are very real and that’s a big part of why our partnership with the RCMP in Alberta is so invaluable,” he said. “Securing Canada’s border is shared responsibility between our two organizations.”

Asif Mir has been charged with importation of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.

RCMP Insp. Charlene O’Neill could not provide details on whether Mir was previously known to police.

RCMP Inspector Charlene O’Neill talks to the media about 50 kg of methamphetamine seized at the Coutts border crossing on Thursday, August 1, 2019. AZIN GHAFFARI / AZIN GHAFFARI/POSTMEDIA CALGARY

O’Neill said the RCMP will collaborate with the United States during the investigation. However, because the case is before the courts, she wasn’t able to offer details on potential plans for the drugs, or any relation they may have to organized crime, if at all.

The police inspector did speak to the importance of the two organizations’ collaboration.

“The success of this operation is a testament to the strong partnership the RCMP shares with CBSA,” said O’Neill.

“We know that crime has no borders and it’s imperative that we continue to work with our partners, like CBSA, to share information and co-ordinate enforcement action as needed to keep Canadians from the harms of illegal drugs.”

The recent drug seizure was the largest since December 2017, in which the CBSA at Coutts intercepted almost 100 kilograms of cocaine and 21 kilograms of the same drug in separate incidents.

Mir is appearing in a Lethbridge court on Thursday.