Cocaine shipments seized at Pearson Airport, four charged
Border officials at Toronto’s Pearson airport say they seized 37.5 kilograms of cocaine.
Richard Buchan / THE CANADIAN PRESS Images
Security guards are seen outside the international arrivals gate at Pearson International Airport this file photo. Four GTA residents have been arrested after guards seized 37.5 kg of cocaine in separate shipments from Panama.
Four people have been charged after border officials at Toronto’s Pearson airport say they seized 37.5 kilograms of cocaine.
Canada Border Services Agency says officers found the drugs hidden in three different shipments of machine parts that originated from Panama.
Three men and a woman, all from the Toronto area, were arrested between Aug. 7 and Aug. 20 after a multi-agency investigation.
Philmore Jarvis, 47, Michelle Maraj, 36, and Wilson Jaramillo, 37, all from Mississauga, and Vernon Bouillion, 38, of Milton, face charges including importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Jarvis, Jaramilo and Bouillion are in custody while awaiting a court appearance scheduled for Thursday.
Maraj is out on bail and her next court appearance is on Sept. 12.
The bust is the second major drug seizure at Pearson in five months. In March, authorities arrested a woman after a drug-sniffing dog found more than 40 kilograms of cocaine inside her eight suitcases.
Toronto Police calculate drugs seized at Pearson Saturday could have been worth close to $4 million.
“This is a large seizure coming in through the airport,” said Sgt. Richard Rollings of the RCMP. “I would like to say it’s uncommon, but it’s not. We do see a lot of drugs smuggled in through this airport.”
“Organized crime will do anything in their power to get drugs into our communities, into our cities,” he added. “They’ll try every trick in the book and then invent a new one.”
The RCMP investigation is ongoing. “We’ll be working to determine who sent this cocaine into Canada,” Rollings said.