Police: Drug ring moved Canadian pot to U.S. through Mohawk land

Montreal, Quebec (AP) 4-08

Police forces have cracked down on an alleged drug ring that investigators say exported marijuana from Quebec to the United States through Mohawk Indian communities.

Inspector Lino Maurizio of the Quebec provincial police said 30 suspects were arrested and charged with offenses including gangsterism, drug trafficking, conspiracy and weapons possession.

Police seized drugs, cash and luxury vehicles along with a small arsenal including assault rifles and grenade launchers.

A senior Royal Canadian Mounted Police official said he was taken aback by the arms cache.

“This isn’t something you stumble across in every investigation,” said Supt. Steve Covey.

Covey said police had no idea what the grenade launchers were going to be used for.

About 300 officers from the RCMP, Quebec provincial police, Mohawk authorities and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took part in raids in Montreal and the Mohawk communities of Kahnawake, Kanesatake and Akwesasne, which straddles northern New York, Quebec and Ontario.

Gorden McGregor, president of Quebec’s association of aboriginal community police chiefs, said a flood of drugs and money have caused serious harm to native communities.

“Imagine a little community when large amounts of money and drugs coming in like that, the trouble that comes with it,” McGregor said. “Our priority is drugs. Drug trafficking causes the biggest social problem in our communities.”

Some of the drugs were grown in the Chateauguay and Mascouche regions surrounding Montreal, Maurizio said.