Meth bust: Montreal-Calgary road trip stalls in Port Huron
A road trip Wednesday from Montreal to a Calgary bus stop turned up a methamphetamine bust on the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron.
Customs officials said they seized 10 pounds of methamphetamine tablets after a driver with a gambling debt and an errant GPS route was stopped at the border crossing.
Two men, driver Constantine Xethalis and Serge Allan, face charges of importation of a Schedule I controlled substance, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
It all started, Xethalis allegedly told federal officials, with a $2,000 gambling debt.
Xethalis pulled up to the Blue Water Bridge about 7 a.m. in a 2019 Volkswagen Jetta with a Quebec plate. But when neither he nor any of his passengers, Allan and Evannie McDonald, was able to provide proof of citizenship, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official referred the Jetta for secondary inspection.
That's when officials found "numerous pieces of personal luggage and a green reusable grocery bag containing approximately 10 points of methamphetamine in tablet form," according to the complaint.
The complaint says a sample of the tablets was tested at an Oakland County drug laboratory, and were confirmed to contain methamphetamine.
Xethalis, the complaint says, waived his Miranda rights and spoke to Customs officials, and said he had agreed to transport "something" to Calgary to work off his gambling debt, and to drive two people there. He told officials that he'd been instructed to eat before leaving Montreal.
That meal took place at a McDonald's near his home. During that visit, a woman approached Xethalis. She asked to borrow his car keys and returned them a short time later. Xethalis told officials he knew the woman had placed pills in his trunk, but that he didn't know what they were.
From Montreal, Xethalis traveled to Toronto to pick up the two passengers. One of them, Allan, used a mapping app on his iPhone to direct them to their destination, a Calgary bus stop. Calgary is about 2,100 miles from Toronto.
But Xethalis claimed the directions actually took them to the Blue Water Bridge at the U.S. border, less than 200 miles from Toronto.
Authorities believe Xethalis "did knowingly and unlawfully possess, with the intent to distribute" the drug.
Allan faces the same charges. After allegedly waiving his Miranda rights, the French-speaking Allan told Customs officials through an interpreter that he is addicted to meth and that the glass pipe, digital scale and powder meth agents seized were his. He told officials that he had met Xethalis at a party, where Xethalis had agreed to take him and McDonald to Calgary.
No charges have been filed against McDonald.