TORONTO -- An 81-year-old Niagara Falls pensioner has been arrested and charged with smuggling almost $600,000 worth of marijuana into the U.S. in the trunk of a car.
"He is one of the older suspects we have ever seen," said Kevin Corsaro, of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
"We were all surprised."
The senior is a regular border crosser and a member of the NEXUS program, in which pre-screened drivers are provided speedy crossings, Corsaro said yesterday.
The senior was sent for a random check Wednesday night at the Whirlpool Bridge crossing and three bags, containing 76 kg of pot, were allegedly found.
"This suspect is not your average drug smuggler," Corsaro said.
"It shows that smugglers can come in every shape, size and age."
Gangs are using couriers of every description to smuggle drugs across the border, police said.
George Zarafonitis has been charged. Due to his age, he was released from a Buffalo jail on Thursday, pending his next court appearance.