A man has been arrested by American authorities after 120 kilograms of unrefined opium was intercepted in a rented truck on its way from Canada into the United States. The driver said the shipment contained only towels.
Abdolnasser Mahmoudikanesbi was arrested at the Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. border crossing on Friday.
American authorities say Mahmoudikanesbi arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. in a rented moving truck with Arizona plates. An x-ray scan by border officials found “dark anomalies in the cargo area inconsistent with towels.” Agents say they found bricks of unrefined “opium paste” after searching the vehicle.
After being questioned, Mahmoudikanesbi told authorities that the bricks were, in fact, opium, a drug which he had used in his native Iran. Isotope testing later confirmed this.
Drug smuggling across that Canada-US border has been a significant issue for law enforcement in 2019, with millions worth of drugs stopped by authorities on both sides of the border.
In September, Jatinderpal Singh was arrested after trying to smuggle $6 million worth of cocaine into Canada through the Detroit-Windsor border crossing.
After being arrested by American authorities, Singh reportedly asked if defendants in US courts “receive a large discount relating to time sentenced as offered to Canadian defendants in Canada.”
Three British Columbia men and ten Americans were also arrested in September as part of a cross-border drug bust. Authorities alleged that the thirteen were part of a conspiracy to move drugs from Mexico into Canada via the United States.
Along with the arrests, police also seized 428 kilograms of cocaine, nine kilograms of heroin, 47 kilograms of methamphetamine and 46 kilograms ecstasy and $811,000 cash.