Insp. Max Waddell, head of Winnipeg’s Guns and Gang Unit, speaking at a Winnipeg Police Services press conference on Thursday morning, March 12.

Abbotsford man arrested in massive cocaine bust by Winnipeg police

19 kilograms of cocaine with street value of $1.5 million seized

An Abbotsford man is facing a raft of charges stemming from a massive-drug bust by Winnipeg police on Sunday, March 8,

Balbir Singh Nahal, 36, was arrested after police officers observed him and another suspect, 42-year old Jay Marte Santos, allegedly make a drug transaction at a Winnipeg gas bar, according to a Winnipeg Police Services press conference on Thursday morning.

Insp. Max Waddell, head of Winnipeg’s Guns and Gang Unit, said this was largest single seizure he can remember in his 26 years in law enforcement.

“Disrupting this particular group is hopefully sending a message to others that are doing this, that there’s going to be significant consequences for trafficking this amount of illicit drugs,” he said. “What’s particularly concerning is the fact that cocaine continues to be a mainstay illicit drug among drug users.”

The initial search of the vehicles the suspects were driving, a Jeep Wrangler and a semi-tractor-trailer, turned up four kilograms of cocaine. Upon further inspection of the semi-trailer, an additional 15 kilograms of cocaine and 20 pounds of marijuana were discovered.

The total street value of the cocaine is over $1.5 million, while the pot is worth over $90,000.

The arrests follow a months-long police investigation into a drug network between the provinces which has been operating since October, 2019, according to Waddell. He said the network was suspected of trafficking large shipments of cocaine from B.C. and one suspect made regular transit between the two cities.

Both vehicles were seized by police and both suspects remain in custody. Police say their investigation continues, but no further arrests are planned.

Nahal’s criminal history in B.C. is not extensive, but he was charged with assault causing bodily harm and uttering threats in June, 2018.

RELATED: Three 16-year-olds arrested after $30K, guns and drugs seized in Kelowna raid

cocaine bustCrime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Organ donation gives Fraser Valley RCMP officer a second chance at life

Cathleen Falebrinza celebrates Green Shirt Day after receiving a double lung transplant in 2016.

Stay off the tracks and stay alert, rail police warn

Last year, seven were killed and 10 seriously injured in rail crossing, trespassing incidents

Open houses discouraged as Chilliwack realtors look for a way forward

March saw strong sales but April likely to see lower numbers

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

What would you like to ask Hope’s Mayor on COVID-19?

Send us your questions, ahead of a conversation with Peter Robb

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

B.C. records five more deaths due to COVID-19, 45 new cases

A total of 838 people have recovered from the virus

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

BC institution has highest number of positive results for COVID-19

11 inmates in Mission test positive for coronavirus, more than any other federal prison in Canada

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

Most Read