A logistical mistake by smugglers appears to be responsible for the arrival of large shipments of illegal methamphetamine from Mexico to 13 Ford dealerships in Canada.
Authorities believe the drugs found in vehicles in December and January were never intended to reach dealerships in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick.
"An error" appears to have been made by those responsible for putting the drugs in the cars, said Ontario Provincial Police Detective Inspector Rob Henderson.
Police believe the vehicles "were not destined for dealerships with methamphetamine secreted in them," he said, indicating the smugglers failed to retrieve their illicit cargo before the rail shipment was broken up and the vehicles were delivered to dealerships.
Police intercepted about 400 pounds of meth with a street value of about $3.4 million. It was packed into spare tires and hidden in the trunks of Ford Fusion cars built in Hermosillo, Mexico.
Police suspect smugglers affiliated with the Sinaloa drug cartel gained access to the cars after they left the assembly plant, said Henderson, though how, when and where remain under investigation.
The drugs were discovered by dealership staff in four Ontario locations.
Police then located 14 other Fusions from that shipment and found more drugs in nine of them, all wrapped in packages inside nonspec spare tires. In another shipment stopped at the border, 12 of 14 Fusions contained spare tires stuffed with drugs.