Guillaume Latour-Laitre, a 27-year-old who held the position of Vice President at Tram-Transport in the Laurentides region of Quebec, has recently been sentenced to a 10-year prison time in the United States. This sentence follows his involvement in a narcotic trafficking case, where he orchestrated the importation of over 140 kilograms of cocaine from Pennsylvania to Quebec, exploiting the resources and networks of his transportation company to facilitate this illegal operation.
Latour-Laitre’s case is particularly notable due to the strategic use of his road transport company in this trafficking scheme. Last May, he admitted to the American justice system his collaboration with a drug trafficking network based in the United States. His primary role was to oversee the transport and smuggling of cocaine, using semi-trailers for cross-border transit. In this illicit endeavor, Latour-Laitre employed Jason Nelson, a driver, offering him a bonus of $250 per kilogram of cocaine imported into Canada.
On December 5th, 2019, Nelson undertook a crucial journey for this operation. Initially, he crossed the border post of Thousand Islands archipelago to reach Pennsylvania. Although the sniffer dog Benny detected the presence of narcotics in a specially arranged compartment in his heavy truck, it was empty at that time, allowing him to continue his journey. Once in Pennsylvania, Nelson picked up a cargo of 142 kg of cocaine, which he concealed in his trailer.
However, during his attempt to return to Canada via the Derby Line border, another sniffer dog, Scooby, detected the drugs, leading to the discovery of the cocaine and Nelson’s arrest. Nelson was found guilty of drug trafficking in 2022 and sentenced to six years in prison.
Authorities estimated that the seized cocaine had a market value of about 5.8 million US dollars. Prosecutors highlighted Latour-Laitre’s direct involvement in the operation, noting that he traveled to the United States to personally ensure that the drugs were loaded correctly. Assistant Prosecutor Douglas G. Collyer commented on the severity of the case, emphasizing Latour-Laitre’s full awareness of the consequences of his actions.
This case sheds light on the risks and implications of diverting resources from legitimate road transport companies for criminal activities, underlining the importance for the trucking industry to remain vigilant and implement strict measures to prevent such illegal use of their infrastructures and services.