BELLINGHAM, Wash. - A Canadian trucker was sentenced to four years in prison for smuggling more than $2.5 million of methamphetamine from the U.S. into Canada through a Whatcom County border crossing.
Sarbjit Chahal of Surrey, British Columbia, was arrested in 2018 at the Pacific Highway Border Crossing in Blaine after a Canada Border Services Agency screening of his Canada-bound semi truck uncovered 33 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in the driver’s cabin, B.C. Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Monday in a news release.
The Bellingham Herald reported that Health Canada confirmed that the seizure was 100% pure methamphetamine, according to the release. Chahal was formerly charged with importing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
At his 2021 trial, Chahal twice took the stand in his own defense and claimed that he committed the crimes after receiving death threats from an individual that asked him to act as a drug courier, according to the release.
The jury convicted Chahal on both counts. He was sentenced in New Westminster Supreme Court to four years for importing controlled substances and 30 months for possession, according to the release. The two sentences will be served concurrently.
"We are committed to ensuring Canada’s continued security and prosperity, and the success of this joint operation demonstrates the effectiveness of the CBSA-RCMP Joint Border Strategy of detecting, preventing, denying and disrupting criminal exploitation of Canada’s borders," Superintendent Bert Ferreira, officer in charge of the B.C. RCMP Federal Serious & Organized Crime Border Integrity Program, said in the release.