• ITVI.USA
    15,054.600
    -42.680
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.919
    0.024
    0.8%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.220
    0.070
    0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,019.470
    -49.300
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.910
    -0.050
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.790
    0.080
    2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.460
    0.170
    13.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.740
    0.020
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.270
    0.030
    1.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.150
    -0.010
    -0.2%
  • WAIT.USA
    131.000
    -2.000
    -1.5%
  • ITVI.USA
    15,054.600
    -42.680
    -0.3%
  • OTLT.USA
    2.919
    0.024
    0.8%
  • OTRI.USA
    19.220
    0.070
    0.4%
  • OTVI.USA
    15,019.470
    -49.300
    -0.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.ATLPHL
    2.910
    -0.050
    -1.7%
  • TSTOPVRPM.CHIATL
    3.790
    0.080
    2.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.DALLAX
    1.460
    0.170
    13.2%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXDAL
    3.740
    0.020
    0.5%
  • TSTOPVRPM.PHLCHI
    2.270
    0.030
    1.3%
  • TSTOPVRPM.LAXSEA
    4.150
    -0.010
    -0.2%
  • WAIT.USA
    131.000
    -2.000
    -1.5%
CanadaDriver issuesNewsTrucking

Trucker denied knowing about $20M in marijuana in border bust

Details emerge in record drug seizure at U.S.-Canada border as trucking company defends driver.

A trucker charged with attempting to smuggle $20 million worth of marijuana from Canada into the United States told investigators he didn’t know about the nearly 9,500 pounds of drugs hidden in storage containers in his trailer, according to a court document.

Prabjot Nagra, a truck driver for Highway Secure Transport in Ontario, was arrested after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers inspected his tractor-trailer after it crossed the Peace Bridge near Buffalo, New York, on June 25. 

“My driver and my company had no involvement in this,” a man who identified himself as the owner of Secure Highway Transport told FreightWaves. “He’s an innocent man.” 

Nagra, 26, was ordered to remain in U.S. custody Wednesday as he faces charges stemming from the record seizure of marijuana at the U.S.-Canada border. 

Investigator: Trackers found with marijuana

CBP officers found the marijuana in vacuum-sealed bags hidden in wooden crates, according to the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York on Friday by a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations. Investigators found three trackers with the marijuana shipment, according to the complaint. 

Nagra told investigators he didn’t know about the marijuana or its intended destination, according to the complaint. However, the special agent contended that a “criminal organization involved in the smuggling of controlled substances would not risk a $20 million drug load” with a driver who didn’t know about the illicit load. 

Nagra’s lawyer, a U.S. federal public defender, did not respond to FreightWaves’ request for comment. 

Marijuana seizures have surged at the Canada-U.S. border since it closed for non-essential travel in March because of COVID-19.

Click for more FreightWaves articles by Nate Tabak.

US border agents finding more marijuana in trucks from Canada
Under USMCA, Canada rolls with ‘new NAFTA
Trucker arrested in $20M marijuana bust at Canada-US border

Nate Tabak, Border and North America Correspondent

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at ntabak@freightwaves.com.

36 Comments

  1. However, the special agent contended that a “criminal organization involved in the smuggling of controlled substances would not risk a $20 million drug load” with a driver who didn’t know about the illicit load…and why not???? How is this so called special agent so sure about this? One thing for sure, he knows nothing about trucking, he just wants a quick bust at the expense of a innocent man. I pray they get 1 truck driver on the jury.

  2. what special agent is this that says they wouldnt risk it without the driver knowing.???…I myself know personally that THATS exactly how they would do it. if the driver doesnt know about it they dont have to pay the transport and second the driver if caught cannot be turned against them to testify because he really doesnt know anything. hence the use of “trackers”.

  3. Its very easy to blame driver. Everybody knows how lazy cops are. Why didnt they find out who is the receiver for those drugs? Its very easy to do with nowadays technology. Why didn’t they trace signal from trackers? From news about previous busts i understand why is better for driver to not know what is inside. He will not be nervous when would be questioned at the border crossing. I am always nervous when I am picking up a load near south border cities . You just don’t know what to expect even if you checked everything. There is no team work between law enforcement agencies. Everybody wants to say we busted this load with drugs. If they would get receiver they would get people who are buying from receiver and so on. I have impression they are not trying to resolve problems with drug dealers. That’s why they are blaming driver.

  4. As a trucker myself, I know that the driver most likely is telling tge truth. Most of the time when you pick up a load it is either in a company trailer that is already loaded, sealed, amd ready to hook up amd roll out. All the driver does is sign the bill of lading after checking the seal number. The driver CANNOT break the seal to verify the contents of the load due to the receiver possibly rejecting the load or at the very least penalize the trucking company in some way. The only time it is permitted for the Sri er to break the seal is either in an emergency situation or if ordered to do so by law enforcement. With the latter the driver must get the officers information so the receiver can verify that he ordered the seal broken, and place a new seal on the trailer as soon as the inspection is over with the officer as a witness. All the driver usually knows about the load is a basic description of the cargo and it’s estimated weight. This may be as simple as 24000lbs Miscellaneous Dry Goods.

  5. Those enforcers are a bunch of dumasses drivers pick up sealed trailors and get paperwork they should of put there people on it made delivery and got the bad people who were waiting for it da

    1. I don’t know what’s in a sealed trailer. They should let him go. All they have to do is Google, Do truck drivers always know what they are delivery? Hell no!!!!
      I hardly look at what I am carrying, if if I lock the door. All I need is the weight and how many PC’s.

  6. Soooo what it’s weed, they just made they have a 20 Million Dollar order and they can’t get some taxes.

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