CALGARY -- Two Albertans face charges following the seizure of cocaine trafficked out of Mexico’s violent drug wars.
A third man arrested in a 15-month investigation involving the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is a Mexican resident, RCMP Staff Sgt. Gord Sage said.
“It’s certainly tied to organized crime in Mexico,” he said, noting the investigation once centered along the U.S-Mexico border.
The first seizure following work done by the Rocky Mountain Integrated Border Enforcement Team (IBET) occurred Juy 27, 2011, when 10 kg of cocaine were intercepted in Great Falls, Mont.
Authorities found the drug secreted in a truck compartment.
On March 22, 2012, another 6 kg of the drug was found by Canadian Border Services officials hidden in a piece of furniture at the international border crossing at Coutts, Alta.
The amounts seized is worth at least $2 million on the street, said Sage.
“It was in its purest form, you could probably stretch that dollar number even further,” he said.
“It’s a hugely significant result ... we dismantled this network and made it difficult for them to continue.”
The cocaine was to be distributed throughout Canada, he added.
On Tuesday, Jacob Dyck, 35, of Coaldale, Alta., and 31-year-old Abram Klassen of Taber, Alta., were arrested in Taber and are charged with importing and conspiracy to traffic cocaine.
Isaak Banman, 33, who was facing related charges in London, Ont., but fled to Chihuahua State, Mexico, is wanted under an arrest warrant.
The Canadian Justice Ministry could seek his arrest and deportation, Sage said.
About 50,000 people have been killed in Mexico’s drug war over the past six years, leading some Latin American leaders to call for drug legalization while blaming dope consumers in the U.S. and Canada for the bloodshed.