If you’re carrying nearly 400 pounds of cannabis and more than $500,000 in illegal shipments, the U.S.-Canada border is the last place you want to go.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) press release An American driver was arrested at the Rainbow Bridge border crossing in Niagara Falls, Canada on June 5 after trying to cross the border with nearly 400 pounds of cannabis and more than $602,985 in his car.
Police say the man accidentally drove into the U.S.-Canada border while trying to track GPS coordinates. Insaga report.
Andrew Lee Toppenberg, 60, of Tustin, Calif., was driving a large shipment of cannabis on May 2. Police said he followed incorrectly entered GPS coordinates and took a wrong turn, eventually reaching the Canadian border. Services Authority (CBSA) Rainbow Bridge Port of Entry, Niagara Falls, Ontario.
Toppenberg didn’t have a passport, so he had to take a dreaded secondary exam. During the inspection, CBSA officials found large amounts of cannabis worth between C$362,000 and C$724,000, more than US$600,000 (C$816,167). Not good for drivers. CBSA officials immediately arrested the driver and seized the cash and cannabis. His case was then turned over to the RCMP Niagara-on-Lake Federal Police Border Protection Team (RCMP BI).
“The safety and well-being of Canadians is the government’s top priority,” said Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino. This seizure demonstrates the critical role that the CBSA and RCMP play in stopping illegally-trafficked goods from entering the community. Great job by both agencies. ”
Specifically, Toppenberg has been charged with possessing cannabis for the purpose of distribution in violation of Section 9(2) of the Cannabis Act. Imported 181 kg (399 lbs) of cannabis in violation of Section 11(1) of the Cannabis Act. Possessing property proceeds of more than $5,000 with the knowledge that all or part of the property proceeds were obtained in a United States offense in violation of Section 354(1)(b) of the Penal Code.
CBSA and RCMP commended the seizure.
“CBSA and RCMP continue to see positive results from working together to protect the Canadian border,” said Ray Borsteri, OIC Border Protection Service RCMP O Division Director. This seizure of cash and contraband is another example of how our integrated services protect Ontario residents from criminal activity. ”
“CBSA takes great pride in the hard work of its staff,” said Jeff Walters, Director of Niagara District Operations, Canadian Border Services Agency. “Their hard work has a significant impact on the continued security of public safety at our borders.”
If Toppenberg was arrested, US punishment This amount is punishable by at least five years in prison. If the cause is death or serious injury, the penalty is at least 20 years’ imprisonment.
Mr. Toppenberg appeared before a judge on May 5, 2023 at the Robert SK Welch Court in St. Catherines, Ontario, was placed in custody, and remains in custody. His next court date has not been scheduled. For more information on the latest contraband statistics, please visit: Canadian Border Service Seizure.