Man arrested for allegedly trying to scuba marijuana across river between Ontario and Michigan

Border patrol agents seized more than three kilograms of marijuana after a suspect wearing a scuba suit was caught trying to swim across the St. Clair River into Marine City, Mich. A Canadian man was arrested.

Credits: U.S. Customs and Border Protection


LONDON, Ont. — Border guards have seen it all when it comes to drug smuggling on the Canada-U.S. border near Sarnia, Ont., and Michigan. But a frogman swimming across the St. Clair River at night, towing an eight-pound bag of pot, could be a first, authorities say.

It happened Monday about 1 a.m. when a tipster called the St. Clair County dispatch to report someone swimming across the river south of Sarnia.

Surveillance camera operators honed in on the suspicious swimmer — who had a dry bag used by scuba divers in tow — and relayed his watery whereabouts to border patrol agents on the ground in Marine City, Mich.

The swimmer emerged from the water wearing a scuba suit. Border patrol agents arrested him and say they found a large watertight container holding more than 3 kg of marijuana tied to a seawall ladder.

American officials are calling the swim — a busy shipping channel, roughly one kilometre wide where the man was caught — a dangerous thing to do, especially in the dead of night.

“If there’s a freighter coming through there, there’s no way for a freighter to stop. That’s a very, very dangerous thing to do,” said Greg Grogan, a public affairs officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The Canadian man was turned over to the St. Clair County Drug Task Force.

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