Pubdate: Thu, 23 Dec 2004
Source: Ogdensburg Journal/Advance News (NY)
Copyright: 2004 Johnson Newspaper Corp.
Contact: : P.O. box 409 Ogdensburg NY 13669
Author: Wilson Ring, Associated Press
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Bookmark: (Cannabis - Canada)


DERBY LINE, Vt. - Something didn't seem right to the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection agent.

It was about 8 a.m. on Oct. 29 at the border crossing at the top of
Interstate 91.

The driver of a big pickup truck was pulling a flat bed trailer with a
car on it. The driver said he'd taken the car to Canada to have it
worked on. But the vehicle didn't quite fit the trailer. The driver's
story didn't quite fit the situation. So the agent sent the driver and
his truck for secondary inspection.

A drug smelling Border Patrol dog showed special interest in the
trailer. When agents pulled up the bed they found about 525 pounds of
high-grade marijuana. It was one of the larger recent marijuana
seizures along the border, but it's something officers have grown
accustomed to.

"Over the last decade or two Canadian organized crime has gotten into
smuggling, particularly marijuana, in a businesslike way," said Amos
Hamilton, the Customs and Border Protection port director at Derby

"Loads we get are professionally shrink wrapped. It's quality
controlled. They have a product and they need it to move."

Hamilton let a reporter talk to the agents who made the seizure on the
condition the agents not be identified.

The seizures are large and small.

The border Patrol gives the marijuana, which has the street name of
Quebec Gold, a street value of $4,500 to $5,000 a pound, giving the
Oct 29 shipment a street value of more than $2.6 million.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin