Canadian border agents among five charged with drug smuggling offences

Border agents charged with drug smuggling

TORONTO — Two Canadian border agents are among five people arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

RCMP and Canada Border Services Agency say the agents worked out of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

Authorities allege the pair facilitated the importation of more than 30 kilograms of cocaine between January last year and April this year.

They also seized cocaine shipped from Colombia and Jamaica to Toronto.

Charged with offences including breach of trust, conspiracy, and importing a narcotic are CBSA agents Patrick Ruddy, 37, of Toronto, and Brano Andrews, 41, of Barrie, Ont.

Facing similar charges are Roberto Leyva, 32, of Niagara Falls, Ont., and Keith Hamid, 41, and Rennie Escoffery, 57, both of Brampton, Ont.

“Allegations of improper or illegal behaviour by CBSA employees are taken very seriously,” Goran Vragovic, CBSA regional director general, said in a statement. “These allegations in no way reflect upon the true professionalism, dedication and integrity displayed each and every day by our CBSA staff.”

The Canadian Press

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