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When GPS goes wrong: GPS shortcut leads to drug seizure and arrest

The man headed to Saskatchewan found himself on the international bridge after his GPS took him on a 'shortcut' through the US.
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He didn’t plan to cross the border, but his GPS had apparently plotted a shorter route south of Lake Superior, said RCMP. Dariusz Sankowski / Pixabay

A man’s routine drive to Saskatchewan from Ontario took an unexpected turn after his GPS took him on a “shortcut” through the US, resulting in him being charged with drug offences when border officers found drugs.

The 57-year-old wasn’t familiar with Sault St. Marie and found himself on the international bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. He didn’t plan to cross the border, but his GPS had apparently plotted a shorter route south of Lake Superior, said RCMP.

After being sent back to Canada by US Customs, a border officer for Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) referred him for secondary inspection. His vehicle was inspected by CBSA officers, who found suspected fentanyl in the trunk. He was arrested by members of the RCMP Sault Ste Marie Border Integrity Team.

"Our joint efforts with CBSA are taking drugs off the streets and providing safer communities for Canadians,” said Cpl. Van Shafiei, A/NCO i/c Sault Ste. Marie Border Integrity.

The man appears in court July 8 to face charges of possession of a controlled substance, and exporting of a controlled substance.

If you have any information related to smuggling, drug importation, trafficking, or possession, or wish to report other criminality, you can contact local police, the confidential CBSA Border Watch toll-free line at 1-888-502-9060 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).