February 29th, 2024

Five Canadians facing extradition to the U.S. for involvement in drug smuggling ring

By The Canadian Press on January 30, 2024.

Authorities have dismantled a drug smuggling operation that they say involved large quantities of narcotics coming into Los Angeles from Mexico before being distributed in the U.S. and Canada by long-haul truckers.

The cross-border operation dubbed “Operation Dead Hand” saw 19 people charged in two U.S. federal indictments for their alleged roles in the organized crime syndicate, including Roberto Scoppa, a Montreal man alleged by authorities to be a large-scale Canadian trafficker and Italian Mafia figure.

The FBI told a news conference today in Los Angeles that Scoppa, 55, is alleged to have bought massive quantities of cocaine and other drugs on a wholesale basis.

A total of 10 people were arrested, including five from Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, and the RCMP said in a news release they will face extradition to the United States to stand trial.

In addition to Scoppa, the Mounties arrested Ivan Gravel Gonzalez, 32, of Trois-Rivières, Que., Ayush Sharma, 25, and Guramrit Sidhu, 60, of Brampton, Ont., and Subham Kumar, 29, of Calgary.

Officials say arrest and search warrants were executed in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary as well as in Texas, Florida and California.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2024.

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