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article imageTwo Canadian border officers charged with importing cocaine

By Arthur Weinreb     Apr 28, 2017 in Crime
Brampton - Two members of the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) were among five men arrested for importing cocaine into Canada through Pearson International Airport north of Toronto. The arrests came after a one and a half year investigation.
A joint investigation by the RCMP and the CBSA resulted in the arrests yesterday of the five men. It is alleged more than 30 kilos of cocaine was imported into Canada through the country’s busiest airport between January 2016 and April 2017. The drugs were said to have come from Colombia and Jamaica.
It is further alleged the two border agents, Patrick Ruddy, 37, of Toronto, and Brano Andrews, 41, of Barrie helped facilitate the movement of the drugs through the airport. Each face one count of breach of trust by a public officer, importing a schedule 1 controlled substance and conspiracy to import a schedule 1 controlled substance.
Roberto Leyva, 32, of Niagara Falls, and Keith Hamid, 41, of Brampton, are facing charges of importing a controlled substance and conspiracy to import. A fifth man, Rennie Escoffery, 57, of Brampton, faces a single count of conspiracy to import a schedule 1 substance.
Goran Vragovic, the director general of the CBSA for the Greater Toronto Area, said his agency is fully cooperating with the RCMP who are the lead investigators in the case. He said, “These allegations in no way reflect upon the true professionalism, dedication and integrity displayed each and every day by our CBSA staff.”
The RCMP officer in charge of the case, Insp. Donna Streeter, described organized crime as “a multi-faceted and borderless problem, impacting all Canadians, directly or indirectly.”
All five men appeared in a Brampton court yesterday for bail hearings. The investigation is continuing.
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