A series of vehicle break-ins at parking lots in York Region led police to a $9 million drug bust and the seizure of an airplane that was smuggling the narcotics in from British Columbia.

Police began surveillance after noticing a number of smashed windows and thefts from cars in lots along the Highway 400 and Highway 7 corridor in Vaughan, Ont.

Last Thursday afternoon, officers noticed occupants of a two SUVs transferring large suitcases.

When police confronted the three men, they were evasive and one man tried to run. He was captured a short distance away.

Officers found one of the suitcases was filled with ecstasy tablets. Police seized the vehicles and a search yielded more than 720,000 ecstasy pills worth about $7 million, 49 kilograms of cocaine worth $1.5 million and more than $219,000 cash.

Police went to one of the accused's Vaughan home on Saturday and recovered more ecstasy and cocaine, $95,000 cash, two handguns, two tasers and two police-style raid jackets.

The investigation also revealed that two of the men are licensed pilots. Police believe they transported the narcotics from British Columbia to Barrie, Ont. in a twin-engine plane.

Facing various drug trafficking charges are:

  • Michael Newman, 37, of Vaughan;
  • Heinz Werner Goertzen, 36, of Abbotsford, B.C.; and
  • Michel Rouch, 59, of Chilliwack, B.C.

All three remain in custody.