Report: Derek White investigated in tobacco-smuggling operation

Wednesday March 30th, 2016

Police authorities are investigating NASCAR driver Derek White as one of 60 people that played a role in a tobacco-smuggling bust in Canada, according to

The people arrested are suspected of buying tobacco in the United States and illegally importing it into Canada and may have links to biker gangs or other organized crime. The tobacco was sold to Native Americans in Canada.

White turned himself into authorities on Wednesday and faces seven charges, according to NBC Sports

White, 45, is a member of the Mohawk tribe and made history last year as the first Native American to start a Spring Cup race. Police did not confirm his arrest but one authority, who chose to remain anonymous, noted that White is one of the highest ranking people in the operation.

The Kahnawake tribe chief peacekeeper was contacted by police with arrest warrants for three people, which included White.

LAWRENCE: NASCAR moonlighting is crucial

In the bust, police seized 52,800 kilograms of tobacco, 836 kilograms of cocaine, 21 kilograms of methamphetamine, 100 grams of fentanyl and 35 pounds of marijuana. The tobacco was purchased in North Carolina before it was moved to Canada and then re-sold with the profits being used to buy other drugs. Some money was laundered into foreign accounts. Tobacco was not declared when it was moved across the border.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.