A logistical mistake by smugglers appears to be responsible for the arrival of large shipments of illegal methamphetamine from Mexico to 13 Ford dealerships in Canada.
Authorities believe the drugs, found in vehicles in December and January, were never intended to reach dealerships in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
Police said they intercepted about 400 pounds of meth, with a street value of about $3.4 million, packed into spare tires and hidden in the trunks of Ford Fusion cars built in Hermosillo, Mexico.
The drugs were discovered by dealership staff in four Ontario locations. Police then located 14 other Fusions from that shipment and found more drugs in nine of them, all wrapped in packages inside non-specified spare tires. In another shipment stopped at the border, 12 of 14 Fusions contained spare tires stuffed with drugs.
"An error" appears to have been made by those responsible for putting the drugs in the cars, Ontario Provincial Police Detective Inspector Rob Henderson said, indicating that the smugglers failed to retrieve their illicit cargo before the rail shipment was broken up and the vehicles were delivered to dealerships.
Police suspect smugglers affiliated with the Sinaloa drug cartel gained access to the cars after they left the assembly plant, Mr. Henderson said, adding that it still is how, when and where they gained access.