FAST-certified trucker tries to smuggle drugs into U.S.

Published 22 September 2008

The Free And Secure Trade (FAST) program allows truckers who drive back and forth across the U.S. border to pre-register with Customs, thus giving them the status of low-risk traveler; one FAST-certified driver used status to smuggle drugs

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at the Ambassador Bridge, Fort Street Cargo Facility, encountered an individual who was a member of the Free And Secure Trade (FAST) program attempting to smuggle drugs into the country. The FAST program is one of CBP’s Trusted Traveler Programs.

The CBP reports that on 12 September the driver, a 49-year-old Canadian citizen, from Vaughan, Ontario, arrived at the bridge at approximately 3:30 am, and presented the paperwork for his cargo to the officer. During the subsequent inspection, officers discovered several packages wrapped in black plastic that, when opened, revealed a green leafy substance. Officers proceeded to test a sample of the substance which tested positive for marijuana. A total of six packages were removed from the truck totaling approximately 233 pounds. The driver was arrested and turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agents for further investigation.

As a member of the FAST program, this driver had been entrusted with status as a low risk traveler,” said port director Roderick Blanchard, “he violated that trust and attempted to bring illegal drugs into our country. The officers involved used their observational skills and available tools and technology to select this cargo shipment for further inspection. Our officers continue to dedicate themselves to protect our community and our country by securing the border.”

Travelers who participate in the Free and Secure Trade program are afforded expedited processing when crossing the border. As a participant in these Registered Travelers Programs, these travelers are bestowed with a higher level of trust and confidence in regards to security when crossing the border. Due to the trust bestowed on the participants, CBP will prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law.