Montreal drug smuggler at large for over a decade captured after applying for passport

Former Montreal drug smuggler Daniel Serero had been at large for over a decade before finally being captured by police.

Authorities said they were able to track Serero down after being alerted of a passport application he filed in March.

According to the Montreal Gazette, upon arriving at the address Serero provided in his passport application, he was arrested “without incident.”

In 1996, Serero pleaded guilty to conspiring to smuggle large quantities of hashish and was sentenced to eleven years in prison.

From a home base in Montreal, Serero had helped facilitate the trafficking of drugs across five continents. The operation that brought him down in the 90’s also led to the arrest of twenty-nine others, including Montreal Mafia leader Frank Cotroni.

After displaying “exemplary” behaviour Serero was granted day parole in 1999, and full parole one year later.

In the following years, he reportedly won “a large sum of money” at a casino and by 2006 ceased all contact with his parole officers. Since then, he had been on the run, evading police.

As the Gazette reports, upon being caught earlier this year, Serero’s parole was revoked.

The parole board found that during his fifteen years at large, Serero had lived “an ordered, quiet, secluded life.” He claimed that he hadn’t had to work as a result of his financial situation, but provided no evidence to back up the claims.

Serero added that he had lived in Toronto for ten years, and had not left the country since being arrested, only visiting Montreal every so often to visit his children.

The former drug smuggler explained that because he had been successful in obtaining other identification documents without authorities being alerted, he figured applying for a passport to go on vacation would yield similar results.

Serero’s sentence is set to expire in 2023, meaning he will be eligible for an “automatic statutory release.” It will, however, come with a list of restrictions.

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