New Yorker with purchased pot arrested at the border


A New York man has been arrested trying to smuggle marijuana he purchased in Ontario, including pot-infused ‘gummy’ edibles.

David Dratch, 23, was arrested Oct. 25 after he crossed the Peace Bridge at Fort Erie.

According to U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, the driver initially told Customs and Border Protection agents he wasn’t carrying any drugs, weapons or prohibited weapons.

During an inspection of his vehicle, however, a drug dog sniffed out six envelopes inside the glove compartment.

The envelopes contained marijuana, two jars of marijuana resin and four additional packages containing THC-infused gummy worms.

Also discovered was a piece of paper with a phone number and a website, Kennedy said.

A check of the website led officers to MMJ Canada, a cannabis clinic and medical marijuana dispensary in Hamilton.

Canada legalized cannabis for recreational use on Oct. 17. In most of the U.S., possession of marijuana remains illegal.

An electronic sign was recently placed along the Niagara-bound lanes of Highway 420 that advises motorists that cannabis is not allowed at the border.

Officers also searched the driver’s cellphone, which included a message that read “lol bro I just had 100mg edible and I got stopped by customs and now they’re asking me so much (expletive).”

Dratch is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, importation of a controlled substance and smuggling goods into the United States. The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a US$250,000 fine.