BLAINE, Wash. – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations (OFO), at the Metaline Falls port of entry arrested a 64-year-old man from Nakusp, British Columbia, on May 5 for allegedly attempting to smuggle 59 lbs. of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) powder into the United States.
Leslie Bateman, a Canadian citizen, was entering Washington state Monday as a commercial truck driver transporting a load of cedar bark and rails destined for Malad City, Idaho. Suspicions arose when a physical search by CBP officers of the tractor cab discovered a heavier than normal mattress pad. Closer inspection uncovered 13 plastic vacuum sealed packages hidden in cutouts within the mattress containing an unknown substance which later field tested positive for the properties of MDMA.
Bateman was immediately taken into custody and turned over to agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) for further investigation.
“The diligence by our frontline CBP officers removed this narcotic threat from the grasp of our Nation’s youth who are intentionally targeted by drug traffickers,” said Area Port Director Ron Arrigoni. "This demonstrates how important the CBP mission is in protecting America’s homeland.”
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine abbreviated as MDMA is used to manufacture the illicit synthetic drug “ecstasy” and was classified as a Schedule I drug in 1985 meaning it is deemed to have no medical use and a high potential for abuse. Under a United Nations agreement it has also been criminalized in most countries in the world and the long term health effects from abuse of the drug are generally of concern to public health officials.
All suspects are presumed innocent under the law if and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.