Police seized nearly 200 kilograms of methamphetamine Sunday after a pair of men allegedly crossed the U.S.-Canada border illegally with an ATV and a trailer in Abbotsford.
The RCMP say residents in the area of Mt. Lehman Road reported seeing an ATV crossing the border. The RCMP Border Integrity Enforcement Team, Abbotsford Police and US Border Patrol responded. An RCMP news release said one man was arrested in a nearby blueberry field, and police seized an ATV and trailer containing duffle bags with “bulk level methamphetamine” totaling 198 kilograms, or nearly 440 pounds.
The man arrested was an American, Zacchary Marcus Scott Hecock. He has been charged with the importation and possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking and remanded in custody.
The case is likely one of the largest seizures of meth in Canadian history, said Cpl. Daniel Michaud, a media relations officer with the RCMP’s Federal Serious and Organized Crime section.
There has been at least one larger seizure in international waters, but Michaud says the Abbotsford case is likely “near the top” of those occurring at Canada’s land border.
Gangs are often linked to such large smuggling operations, Michaud said.
“Usually, if we’re talking about these quantities of drugs, the chance that organized crime is involved is pretty high. We are investigating but haven’t confirmed anything so far.”
The search for the smugglers, however, included an incident at a nearby berryfarm during which innocent farmworkers say they were assaulted by officers. One was taken to hospital with scratches and bruises after he said he was punched and kicked by an officer, and attacked by a police dog.
The Mexican consulate wrote to Abbotsford Police Chief Mike Serr to demand an investigation, and a probe has been launched by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner.
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