Busy border leads to busts

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers in southern Saskatchewan must enforce many laws along the 49th Parallel, and last month, they were responsible for preventing a large quantity of undeclared guns from coming into the country.

On April 22, officers at the North Portal border crossing referred a 27-year-old Alaska man for further examination and located a dismantled restricted AR-15 rifle on a flatbed trailer. Officers used a baggage X-ray system to locate the firearm parts. The various parts and three overcapacity magazines were wrapped in clothes that were stored in a plastic tote. CBSA Criminal Investigations charges are pending.

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On April 7, officers at the North Portal crossing intercepted a prohibited revolver, butterfly knife, switchblade, and handheld crossbow during a vehicle search, along with seven overcapacity magazines – all packed in a pickup truck and an enclosed trailer. As the travellers were hauling a friend’s belongings to Alaska, CBSA officers determined they did not know their friend had packed these prohibited items. The travellers received a $1,000 penalty, forfeited the firearm and weapons, and were allowed to continue into Canada.

At the Estevan Highway crossing on April 3, CBSA officers referred a 25-year-old North Dakota man for further examination. During their search of the car, the officers found an undeclared .45-calibre restricted revolver in the pocket behind the driver’s seat and seized it with no terms of release. CBSA Criminal Investigations has charged Cassidy Paul Turner with smuggling, failure to report goods, and making false statements under the Customs Act and with unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle and careless use of a firearm under the Criminal Code. Turner did not appear for his first scheduled court date in Estevan Provincial Court on May 4, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

On April 2, CBSA officers at North Portal conducted an examination on a male commercial driver from Texas. While searching his laptop, they uncovered multiple images of suspected child pornography and turned the evidence over to the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit. On April 7, the Unit announced that it had charged Andrew Benito Ferrer, 40, with possession and importation of child pornography under the Criminal Code.

On April 11, a 62-year-old United States man was turned away at the Regway border crossing for criminality including an armed robbery conviction.

On April 17, officers at the Estevan Highway border crossing refused entry to a 32-year-old North Dakota man after he admitted to sexual assault and battery convictions from two separate incidents.

On April 26, officers at the Northgate border crossing refused entry to a 56-year-old Louisiana man.   He had convictions for burglary and robbery, and also had charges for felony theft, possession of narcotics, assault on an officer, resisting arrest, possession of stolen property, driving under the influence, driving on a suspended licence, and disturbing the peace.


Quick Facts

On average, CBSA officers in southern Saskatchewan process 51,600 travellers in 18,500 vehicles, 14,200 commercial trucks, and 250 permanent resident landings per month.

In April 2015, officers in southern Saskatchewan made 37 seizures of suspected drugs, undeclared firearms, undervalued purchases, and other items. On average, they refuse entry to 75 foreign nationals per month for criminality or other reasons.

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