U.S. Customs and Border Protection Field Operations reported the seizure of nearly 240 pounds of cocaine during an outbound examination at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, resulting in the arrest of a Canadian resident.
On Sept. 8, CBP officers encountered, Ravinder Kumar Arora, a 29-year-old citizen of India with Canadian legal permanent resident status, as he was attempting to leave the United States via the Lewiston-Queenston border crossing. Arora, a resident of Brampton, Ontario, was the operator and lone occupant of an empty commercial trailer destined to Canada. During primary questioning, Arora appeared extremely nervous and was subsequently selected for an outbound enforcement examination.
During the course of the inspections, CBP officers noticed that the floor of the container had been tampered with and replaced with non-factory screws. The floorboards of the container were removed, resulting in the discovery of 97 vacuum-sealed bricks of a white powder substance, which later field-tested positive as cocaine.
"This is the largest cocaine seizure to date in the Port of Buffalo and has a street value of approximately $3.6 million," said Buffalo Port Director Joseph J. Wilson. "This interdiction demonstrates CBP's dedication to securing our borders and safeguarding our country from the dangers of inbound and outbound narcotics smuggling"Arora was arrested and charged with narcotics possession and turned over to agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation and prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York.