Accused masterminds behind cocaine and meth shipments arrested in Toronto

A load of meth found hidden in a transport truck crossing from Detroit into Windsor started the probe that widened to find cocaine, meth, opium and MDMA, authorities allege

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A Toronto couple accused of being masterminds behind large drug shipments have been arrested after a transport truck carrying methamphetamine into Canada and a moving van carrying cocaine in Toronto were stopped by officials.

A tractor-trailer truck crossing the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit into Windsor on March 4 started the probe, police and border officials say.

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The truck was referred for a secondary inspection by Canada Border Services Agency officers, during which about 300 kilograms of suspected meth was discovered hidden in the trailer, officials said.

The driver was arrested, turned over to the RCMP, and subsequently released. Officials did not explain the circumstances of his release.

The find prompted an investigation by CBSA officers in Windsor to trace the origins of the meth and find who was responsible for smuggling it to Canada, authorities say.

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That led them to a man suspected of being the organizer of the meth shipment, and to his partner, who was also suspected of being involved, authorities said. Police identified them as Marvin Watson, 31, and Maria Kiguru, 33, both of Toronto.

Police say further investigation led authorities to believe the couple were involved in trafficking more than just methamphetamine.

While under surveillance, Watson arrived at his Toronto home in North York in a moving van. Officers stopped the van, arrested Watson, and found 120 kilograms of cocaine in the van, police said.

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The van stop and arrests were conducted on June 21. An RCMP official told National Post the case was not announced until now because there was a parallel investigation going on, but would not elaborate further.

“Search warrants were executed by RCMP with assistance from the CBSA at the residence of Watson and Kiguru in Toronto. The search resulted in officers finding and seizing more drugs, including 100 kilograms of methamphetamine, one kilogram of opium, two kilograms of MDMA, and several kilograms of marijuana,” the RCMP and CBSA said in a joint written release.

“Officers also found evidence of possession of proceeds of crime and money laundering.”

Police said cash was seized but did not specify the amount.

Officers said the drugs had a street value of about $13 million.

None of the allegations have been tested in court. Neither Watson nor Kiguru could be reached for comment.

Watson was charged with importation of meth, conspiracy to import drugs, possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking, possession of meth for the purpose of trafficking, money laundering, and proceeds of crime offences.

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He remained in custody as of Wednesday, police said.

Kiguru was charged with importation of meth, conspiracy to import drugs, money laundering, and proceeds of crime offences.

She was released and awaits a future court date, police said. The RCMP said Watson and Kiguru both resided at the North York home.

The RCMP and CBSA praised cooperation between Canadian authorities, and the help of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, in the investigation.

The RCMP declined interviews about the case, saying it is before the court.

“As criminal organizations evolve, the work of the CBSA and the RCMP will continue to disrupt cross-border criminal activity and protect our communities,” Joseph Chayeski, CBSA’s director of operations at the Ambassador Bridge, said in a written statement.

“The CBSA and the RCMP continue to get positive results from our collaboration to protect Canada’s borders. This seizure of cash and contraband is one more example of how our combined services are keeping Ontario citizens safe from criminal activities,” said Supt. Rae Bolsterli, officer in charge of the RCMP’s Border Integrity unit in Ontario.

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