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Border bust nets 80 pounds of cocaine

Three men transporting cocaine were tracked at the Nelway border crossing.

A border breach gambit on foot in the wild land between Canada and the U.S. did not pay off for three men transporting over $800,000 in cocaine as they were tracked in the Nelway port of entry area south of Salmo.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents arrested two Canadian citizens and one Mexican man and seized around 36 kilograms (80 pounds) of cocaine — estimated to be worth $801,000 — near Metaline Falls, Wash., late last week.

The seizure was the result of active patrolling of the remote border trails by border patrol agents in the field, said CBP chief of the border patrol sector in Spokane, Gloria Chavez.

She said the three men were encountered around 19 kilometres north of Metaline Falls in the Salmo Mountain area right on the Canadian border.

One of the suspects hid from CBP agents and was tracked out the next day in a snowstorm with support from the Office of Air and Marine, Spokane Air Branch.

Chavez noted that the two Canadians and the cocaine were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for “further processing.”

Prior to the announcement of the seizure, the Spokesman Review in Spokane, Wash., reported on May 2 that three suspected drug smugglers were arrested near the border in Pend Oreille County with 58 pounds of cocaine.