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Trucker convicted of importing $29M in meth across Ambassador Bridge


A truck driver has been convicted of importing $29 million in methamphetamine across the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor.

Mohamed Ahmed Abdirahman will be sentenced in June after being convicted of possession and importation charges.

Even though the prosecution’s case was based on circumstantial evidence, Justice Bruce Thomas called the defence arguments “fanciful speculation”.

“There are no plausible theories or reasonable possibilities based on logic and experience that raise a reasonable doubt,” Justice Thomas said in his April 19 decision, obtained by CTV News.

The Bust

On Christmas Eve 2019, Abdirahman drove his transport from Detroit into Windsor via the Ambassador Bridge.

He told the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer he had been in the states for nine days. Abdirahman claimed two cartons of cigarettes.

According to the court document, the CBSA officers “communication system required” Abdirahman be sent to secondary inspection.

Not long after starting their search of the cab of the truck, officers were forced to put on PPE because “they were confronted with a very strong chemical odour, described as a smell similar to nail polish, which was irritating to the nose and eyes”, according to the decision.About 200 kilograms of suspected methamphetamine, worth $25 million, was seized at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor. (Courtesy CBSA)

Scattered in various storage areas in the cab officers found seven boxes and two totes each with multiple sealed plastic bags “containing a white crystal substance”, later confirmed by Health Canada to be methamphetamine.

The Allegation

Investigators learned Abdirahman had actually been in the U.S. for 14 days, including a trip as far south as Fontana, California near San Diego.

According to the judge’s decision, on Dec. 16, 2019, Abdirahman walked across the San Ysidro, California border into Tijuana, Mexico.

He used an Uber once in Mexico under a fake name; Zack Moris.

Cellphone records revealed over 80 “communications” with a contact titled ‘El Chapo’.

The same number made 14 calls to Abdirahman’s phone the day before he crossed the Ambassador Bridge.

An RCMP expert testified at trial, as a result of Canadian and American restrictions on ephedrine - needed to make meth – “methamphetamine production in Mexico has increased and is controlled by cartels.” - according to Justice Thomas’ judgment.

Retired Sergeant Rodney Gray estimated the value of the “100 per cent pure” drugs in Abdirahman’s truck at between $15.6-$29.4 million on the gram level; or $4.5-$5.8 million per kilogram.

The Defence

Defence lawyer Jessica Grbevski argued there were “a myriad of unknowns and possible explanations” for why the drugs were in Abdirahman’s truck.

• The officer at the booth didn’t smell the drug odor, meaning it wasn’t bothering Abdirahman while he drove because he didn’t know it was there

• CBSA didn’t treat the cab as a crime scene and failed to take a full cab picture before opening boxes/totes

• A previous user of Abdirahman’s truck had access to it and was in the United States at the same time and used her client as a “decoy”

• The truck had two sets of keys, one of which most truckers conceal with a hide-a-kay

• The duct tape found in the cab wasn’t in plain sight as indicated in trial exhibit; argued the judge shouldn’t consider the image for consideration

The Prosecution

“The circumstantial evidence of the Crown is overwhelming,” Justice Thomas wrote in opining there was no disputing the drugs were in the cab.

Federal prosecutor Richard Pollock had to prove beyond reasonable doubt Abdirahman had “constructively” possessed the methamphetamine.

The RCMP investigators were not able to identify any fingerprints on any of the bags, boxes or totes.

The transport trailer was sealed but the judge found “every conceivable place of storage” in the cab was used for 200 packages of methamphetamine.

Abdirahman’s transport log indicated he was asleep in his cab for 22 hours while he was actually in Mexico.

“There were three boxes on top of the bunk, making use of the bunk for sleeping impossible on a trip of 5,000 miles over ten days,” Justice Thomas wrote.

The judge found it was reasonable the first officer didn’t smell the odor, the CBSA investigation was professional, the previous driver is “probative of nothing”, there is no evidence the second set of keys were missing or lost and there was no forced entry into the cab.

While noting the defence doesn’t have to present any evidence and Abdirahman did not have to testify in his own defence, the judge cited an appellate court decision that ruled “failure to provide an innocent explanation at trial undermines the alternative inferences.”

The Judgment

Justice Thomas called the defence theory “fanciful speculation” in convicting Abdirahman of importation of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.

The Sentence

Abdirahman will have a sentencing hearing on June 26. Top Stories

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