Two Brampton, Ont. men are facing charges of trafficking cocaine after being pulled over for speeding near Davidson, Sask.
On July 3, at about 1:30 p.m., an RCMP officer stopped a vehicle for speeding northbound on Highway 11. Davidson is located on Highway 11 about halfway between Regina and Saskatoon.
The men in the vehicle said they were travelling to Alberta for personal business, the RCMP said in a video posted to their YouTube channel.
The traffic stop turned into a drug trafficking investigation “due to several factors,” Chief Superintendent Alfredo Bangloy said in the video.
The RCMP officer found about $3,600 in cash, along with 50 one-kilogram bricks of what the RCMP believes to be cocaine. The cocaine was split among two duffel bags. Samples of the drugs were sent to labs for analysis.
The seizure is one of the largest in the province that the RCMP is aware of.
Jitpartap Singh Bhatti, 24 and Harmdeep Sandhu, 30, were both arrested. They appeared in provincial court in Moose Jaw on July 7. They were released under strict conditions and are next due in Moose Jaw provincial court on July 27 at 9:30 a.m.
The investigation is ongoing.
“When we look at the impact of illicit drugs in the communities, we see the regular use of violence, illicit drug trafficking and addictions. These are some of the many illegal activities that ruin lives every day,” Bangloy said.
“We continue to focus on high visibility patrols and traffic stops across the province to prevent illicit drugs from reaching our communities and to stop unsafe driving behaviours.”
While the RCMP did not say how much the cocaine would fetch on the street, a seizure of 11.25 kg of cocaine in Prince Albert in 2016, including a fairly pure product that had yet to be cut with additives for selling on the street, was estimated to fetch a street price of $1.5 million, a police drug expert said.
The amount seized in Davidson was almost five times what Prince Albert police seized in 2016.
“While we are thankful to get the cocaine off the street, the true success of this investigation is a complete disruption of this interprovincial drug trafficking operation, and preventing any potential acts of violence, property crime and addiction that is always a price to pay in the drug trade,” Bangloy said.
He called the drug seizure a “great example of the hard work and commitment” of “front-line members.”