Two people from Chilliwack have been charged with trying to smuggle methamphetamine chemicals through the Aldergrove border crossing.
The border was shut down for about an hour on Sunday night (Nov. 23) after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made the discover in a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am.
The car arrived at the border around 7 p.m. with a plastic tote tub sealed with plastic wrap containing an unknown liquid and other suspicious materials in the rear seat area.
A U.S. customs officer became ill after breathing fumes from the materials.
The crossing was shut down in both directions and the officer was rushed to Saint Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham.
A Haz-Mat (hazardous materials) team was called in to remove what appeared to be chemicals and equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine.
The injured officer was “successfully treated,” the Blaine U.S. Customs and Border Protection office reported.
The border was re-opened after about an hour.
The two occupants of the car were arrested.
On Monday, 41-year-old Calum James Buchanan and 24-year-old Lola Crystal McKay, both from Chilliwack, appeared before a Whatcom County judge on a charge of possession with intent to manufacture.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Homeland Security Border Enforcement Security Task Force and is being prosecuted by the Whatcom County Prosecutor’s Office.
“The interdiction of these hazardous chemicals prevents a considerable amount of methamphetamine from reaching the streets of our Nation,” Blaine Area Port Director Kenneth Williams said in a written statement issued Tuesday.
“This seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our frontline officers in securing our borders, keeping our communities safe and in protecting our way of life.”