1,500 pounds of meth seized off San Juan Islands

Suspect is a Canadian citizen who was allegedly piloting a boat to smuggle it.

Updated: May 27, 2022 - 7:23pm

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents from the Bellingham Marine Branch seized almost 1,500 pounds of meth about one-half mile into American waters.

The unnamed suspect is a Canadian citizen who was allegedly piloting a boat to smuggle it in.

The search and seizure happened Wednesday morning southwest of Stuart Island, part of the San Juan Islands and longitudinally due West from Bellingham, Washington.

“Upon boarding the vessel, the Marine Interdiction Agents discovered 28 duffel bags containing cellophane wrapped cylindrical packages,” said U.S. Customs in a news release.

Agents made an arrest and seized the boat, pending confirmation that these packages contained illicit substances.

They also found one Glock 9mm handgun.

Lab results confirmed that the substance wrapped up for delivery was methamphetamine, U.S. Customs reported.

“This latest incident is a testament to the dedication of Air and Marine Operations personnel to keeping communities on both sides of the border safe,” Jeremy Thompson, director of operations at the Bellingham Marine Branch, said in a statement.

The street value of the seized meth was around $7.5 million, per data from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

A 2020 KBI report found the cost to users for a pound of meth to be $5,000.

According to US Customs data, this year the agency had seized 6,480 pounds of meth through the end of April, a number which does not include the San Juan bust.

In 2021, U.S. Customs agents seized 11,579 pounds of meth.

Both figures are substantially lower than before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted border traffic. In 2019, U.S. Customs seized 48,851 pounds of meth.

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