Derek White is now facing suspension from NASCAR after it was revealed that he was among those targeted by Quebec and Ontario police in a tobacco smuggling bust known as Operation Mygale. It was considered the biggest police operation of its kind in North America.
NASCAR suspended White on Tuesday due to his failure to notify the sport regarding his arrest. According to its membership policy, NASCAR requires that a notification of arrest be made before one’s next scheduled event or within 72 hours, whichever is earlier. Moreover, motorsport.com reports that White’s suspension is indefinite.
Last month, White was among 60 people targeted in a drug smuggling operation that involved tobacco leaf shipments from North Carolina resold in Canada to accumulate profits to purchase cocaine and launder money in Europe.
According to a report from Bloomberg, White was among those named as a top ranking member of the illegal tobacco operation. Meanwhile, NBC reported that White had turned himself in when he found out there was a warrant for his arrest.
White is a Native American member of the Mohawk tribe in the Kahnawake community. According to a report from the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, the contraband tobacco was processed in the said community, where it is made into cigarettes sold in the black market.
Police have had White under surveillance since 2006. Moreover, he was identified by police during the lead-up to an operation targeting a marijuana smuggling operation in Kahnawake and Akwesasne in 2008, but was never charged. Kahnawake is around 120 kilometers west of Montreal near the U.S.-Canada border.
Following the bust, White is facing seven charges, including three counts to conspiracy to commit fraud, three counts of fraud and one count of profiteering.