A 39-year-old British Columbia man was arrested Thursday afternoon after he reportedly attempted to cross from Canada into the United States with a little more than a kilogram of ketamine in a hidden compartment in his car and is suspecting of crossing the border more than 20 times in the past year and a half in the same car.
Brian Allen Malley was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.
“This is a great example of the hard work our CBP officers do every day,” Area Port Director Kenneth L. Williams said in a press release about the arrest. “Our officers’ diligence, perseverance, and hard work protect our borders and keep dangerous narcotics out of the hands of our children.”
According to information provided by Whatcom County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Hester, deputies responded after Malley was stopped at the Peace Arch Crossing Point of Entry in Blaine by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents while attempting to cross the border with a non-factory hydraulic compartment hidden in the trunk of his silver 2011 Nissan Quest with British Columbia plates.
The vehicle was referred to a secondary inspection at about 2 p.m., according to the CBP release, and Malley reportedly said he wanted to speak to a lawyer rather than answer any questions.
The hydraulic compartment was electronically opened, and a vacuum-sealed plastic bag containing 1.02 kilograms (more than 2.2 pounds) of a white powdery substance was discovered. The substance was field tested using a Thermo Scientific Gemini analyzer and found to be positive for the presumptive presence of ketamine — a hallucinogenic taken in small doses.
Malley also reportedly had more than $5,000 and two cell phones with him.
Further investigation also showed Malley had reportedly crossed into the United States more than 20 times in the same vehicle over the past year and a half and that the compartment was reportedly large enough to hold “several hundred pounds of drugs,” leading sheriff’s deputies to conclude Malley was a “high-level narcotics dealer,” according to the police report provided by Hester.
The Blaine Border Enforcement Security Task Force is continuing to investigate the case, according to the release.