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Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / Fort Lauderdale Woman Faces Charges in Connection to Canadian Gold Heist

Fort Lauderdale Woman Faces Charges in Connection to Canadian Gold Heist


In April of 2023, $20 million in gold bars and foreign currency was stolen from the Toronto Pearson International Airport. It proved to be the largest gold heist in Canadian history. Over the next year, Canadian and US authorities conducted an in-depth investigation that revealed a cross-border network of gang activity, gun smuggling, and money laundering. The operation stretched all the way down to Florida, involving at least one woman who is now facing charges for alleged international firearms trafficking in Fort Lauderdale.

Most of the Gold Is Still Missing 

The suspects stole the shipment of gold shortly after it arrived from Zurich, Switzerland from the well-known Miami security company Brink’s. Using falsified shipping documents, the suspects loaded the gold into a van and vanished into thin air. At least two of the suspects were employees of Air Canada at the time. Police have only located a few thousand dollars’ worth of the gold. The total amount is reportedly worth over $30 million based on current gold prices. Brink’s later sued Air Canada for losing the shipment.

How Did a Canadian Gold Heist Lead to Gun Trafficking in Florida? 

The suspects who stole the gold bars allegedly planned to “launder” the precious metal by purchasing firearms in the USA before reselling them in Canada. The scheme involved melting the gold bars down into bracelets and using these items to purchase firearms in the United States. Canada has much stricter gun laws compared to the United States, and it has recently banned handguns. As a result, gun trafficking has become a very lucrative business not only for Canadian smugglers, but also those based in the United States. Police say that a gun purchased for $500 in the US can sell for $5,000 in Canada on the black market.

The same suspect who drove the getaway van in the airport heist reportedly entered the United States with the bracelets and purchased firearms illegally in Florida and Georgia. He was identified because he removed his glove while driving away from the airport – leaving his fingerprint on the steering wheel. US authorities later caught the suspect driving another rented vehicle in Pennsylvania with 65 guns destined for Canadian buyers. This arrest swept the Fort Lauderdale woman into the heist.

She was arrested in Florida on federal conspiracy charges for international firearms trafficking. Her exact involvement isn’t clear, but one can assume that she was involved in selling the firearms to the Canadian gold thief and gun smuggler. Of the 65 firearms, two were fully automatic. Eleven were reported stolen, and at least had its serial number removed. The ATF is investigating the gun-smuggling operation more thoroughly, and further arrests are possible.

Find a Firearms Trafficking Defense Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

International firearms trafficking is a very serious offense. If you face gun charges in Fort Lauderdale, you should immediately get in touch with a criminal defense lawyer. Haber Blank, Attorneys at Law can help you fight for your rights. We have considerable experience with weapons offenses, and we can guide you toward an appropriate defense strategy. Book your consultation today with a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer to get started.




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