Canadian authorities announced Wednesday the arrest of a Toronto man who allegedly tried to smuggle nearly 50 kilos of cocaine in a tractor trailer across the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge last fall.
The driver, identified as Omari Kutaladze, 54, was hauling a load of plastic resin pellets when he was stopped at the bridge by Canadian border services officer on Nov. 19. The driver and his tractor trailer were referred for a secondary examination, Canadian officials said.
Officers using a detector dog team found 50 packages of suspected cocaine weighing 49.7 kilograms (about 110 pounds) concealed inside cardboard boxes containing plastic resin pellets. The cocaine was seized and Kutaladze was arrested and the evidence was turned over to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Kutaladze was charged with importation of a controlled substance and possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking. His next court date is Jan. 11 in the Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines.