Homeland Security breaks up cheese-smuggling ring
Up on the Canadian-American border, not far from Niagara Falls, the Department of Homeland Security has broken up a smuggling ring that was moving not only drugs but another hot product: mozzarella. The local police force is now investigating some of its own for “the movement of caseloads of cheese from the U.S. to sell to Canadian pizzerias and restaurants,” according to the CBC.
You see, cheese is expensive in Canada. Really expensive. But pizza joints need cheese. Lots of cheese. And, allegedly, the Niagara Regional Police was ready to give them what they needed. As the Star reports:
Mario Sebastiano, owner of Super Mario’s pizza in Port Colborne, says he was offered cheese from U.S. …
“He was gonna sell me a case for 150 bucks — normally it’s $240,” Sebastiano said. “He can supply whatever I want. If I want five to six cases a week, he’d give me five to six cases because he can bring it to this side here, no problem.”
Super Mario’s pizza! Oh man, we hope that’s a theme restaurant.
The CBC reports that drivers could make as much as $2,000 a trip, just for bringing a few bricks of white (cheese) into Canada. The current investigation grew out of an earlier investigation into drug smuggling, during which kinda cute cop Geoffrey Purdie was arrested. No one knows if Purdie (to be played by Guy Pearce in our imaginary movie version of this story) was involved in the cheese ring:
CBC News has been unable to confirm which specific officers will face charges, let alone whether Const. Purdie himself is directly linked to the cheese allegations. He has refused repeated requests for an interview.
It’s not really clear who was buying this stuff — all the pizza owners interviewed in these stories say they turned down the contraband and that it was “inferior” to Canadian cheese. Which, if you’ve ever eaten at Domino’s, seems kinda plausible.
Psst! Wanna Buy Some Cheese?, NPR.