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NRP cop retrieved drugs from NY postal box

(Web release from May 21, 2012 edition) The Niagara Regional Police officer who was charged in Buffalo for conspiracy to traffic and smuggle drugs was not arrested with $580,000 worth of drugs in his possession.

Instead, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement alleges that Constable Geoffrey Purdie, a 13-year veteran of the NRP, retrieved packages from two rented postal boxes in Niagara Falls, NY, and smuggled them into Canada at the Peace Bridge in Fort Erie on numerous occasions.

The allegations form the basis of the complaint against Purdie which was filed in U.S. District Court on April 3.

NRP issued a press release on April 27 stating that Purdie had been suspended from duty with pay on April 5 and that he had been released from custody with the condition that he return to the U.S. to appear before the court.

Purdie is charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and conspiracy to export from the U.S. quantities of testosterone ethanate (steroid hormone), diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax).

The complaint names four other Canadians, one a resident of Niagara Falls and another who lives in Brampton, but a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Buffalo said no one else had been charged by American authorities in relation to this matter as of Friday.

U.S. Homeland Security Investigations agents started their probe in early December 2011 when Customs officers seized a shipment of 2.7 kg of gamma-butyrolactone (GBL) at a UPS international mail facility in Louisville, KY.

GBL is a precursor chemical to a street drug called GHB which is a depressant and commonly referred to as a date-rape drug.

The parcel was mailed from Shanghai, China, and was bound for one of the postal boxes in Niagara Falls, NY.

A second shipment of 5.6 kg of GBL bound for the same postal box was intercepted at the DHL facility in Erlanger, KY, in mid-January.

In early February, U.S. Customs agents in Buffalo executed a search warrant on two postal boxes they say Purdie regularly received packages and seized 13 parcels containing tranquilizers, various steroids and GBL.

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