Despite the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) remains committed to the safeguarding of our country and keeping contraband goods from reaching our communities. Today, the CBSA is pleased to announce that, following its lengthy investigation called Project Trajectory, four individuals have pleaded guilty in Vancouver Provincial Court and received sentences for their roles in a steroid smuggling and distribution ring.
The investigation began in July 2015. The CBSA Criminal Investigations Section worked closely with U.S. Homeland Security Investigations to monitor the activities of the four individuals suspected of participating in an international contraband smuggling operation. They identified 34 mailboxes across the Lower Mainland and five mailboxes in Washington State that were used to receive drugs, which were then illegally sold in British Columbia and across the country. Once the mailboxes were known to CBSA, the Agency was able to intercept shipments being sent to them.
In August 2016, the CBSA executed search warrants on the group’s three residences and one bank safety deposit box. This led to the discovery of mailbox contracts, shipping documents, fraudulent identification, wire-transfer receipts, over $40,000 in cash, more than a dozen cellphones, tablets and laptops, and an estimated $150,000 worth of anabolic steroids.
In total, the CBSA seized 121 postal and courier shipments of anabolic steroids and import-controlled substances. On separate occasions, the CBSA intercepted two of the accused in possession of these drugs at the Abbotsford-Huntingdon port of entry. The total estimated re-sale value of the drugs seized both at the port of entry and as part of the postal and courier shipments is $715,000.