A trucker could face life in prison after being charged with trafficking nearly 200 pounds of methamphetamine from the United States to Canada, authorities said Wednesday.
Steven Andrew Golding, 64, was arrested Monday on charges stemming from a December 2018 drug seizure at the Pacific Highway U.S.-Canada border crossing in Surrey, British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said in a statement.
Authorities seized multiple bags of meth found inside the cab of the Volvo tractor Golding was driving during a secondary inspection, police said. Golding, a Surrey resident, was hauling a trailer containing a legitimate load of commercial goods, according to police.
Police did not estimate the value of the meth. But it could have been worth more than CA$10 million (US$ 7.5 million) based on other Canadian drug seizures at the time. Prosecutors approved charges against Golding on Aug. 10 — more than 20 months later.
He was charged with importing and possessing meth for the purpose of trafficking. The charges carry a maximum penalty of up to life in prison.
A passenger in the truck wasn’t charged.
Golding was released after his arrest. He is slated to make his first court appearance on Sept. 14.
U.S-to-Canada meth trafficking long-standing issue at border
Large-scale methamphetamine trafficking from the U.S. to Canada has been a long-standing issue at the border.
A Canadian trucker was arrested Dec. 24 after Canada Border Services Agency officers found CA$25 million (US$19 million) worth of methamphetamine during a secondary inspection at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, across from Detroit.
It was the largest meth seizure on record going back seven years, the CBSA said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have reported a surge in marijuana seizures from commercial trucks coming from Canada since the border closed for nonessential traffic in March because of COVID-19.
The most recent marijuana seizure on the U.S. side happened Monday. CBP officers seized more than a half-ton of pot from a Canadian truck at the Blue Water Bridge in Michigan.