The parents of a Quebec border guard accused of smuggling cocaine are speaking out to defend their daughter.
In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Edward and Carole McClelland say they are convinced their daughter Stefanie is innocent.
“She was totally destroyed, in handcuffs, and she was in tears, and she said, ‘I don’t know what’s happening. I’m not involved in anything. I have no idea what’s going on,'” Edward McClelland said, fighting back tears.
Stefanie McClelland, a customs officer posted at the Lacolle crossing at the New York border with Quebec, was arrested by the RCMP on Tuesday.
The RCMP also arrested Gregory Singh, a 28-year-old man from Kirkland, and Ariane Desgroseilliers-Lafrance, a 24-year-old woman from Montreal.
The three arrests came after authorities uncovered an alleged plot to smuggle 182 kilograms of cocaine across the border.
The RCMP and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) declined CBC’s request for an interview.
However, the CBSA did tell CBC News in a statement that “"CBSA employees occupy strategic positions and are required to meet the highest integrity and ethics standards. The CBSA has no tolerance for illegal or inappropriate actions."
The parents of the 37-year-old say they’re convinced she was not involved.
“It’s not possible. We know Stefanie. She would never, never do anything like that,” Edward McClelland said.
The McClellands said their daughter is a third-generation border agent and a single mother of four who lives in a modest home next door to a provincial police station.
McClelland's parents said they, and others who know and work with her, are convinced that she was either framed or threatened.
The three accused will appear on Friday at the St-Jean-sur-Richelieu courthouse, where a judge will determine whether they will be released on bail.