02/04/2015 11:11 EST | Updated 04/06/2015 05:59 EDT

Cocaine-hidden-in-asphalt operation leads to arrests in Montreal

The RCMP have arrested 17 people in connection with a “sophisticated importation scheme” that saw cocaine smuggled into Canada concealed in asphalt powder.

The arrests were made in the Montreal-area this morning. The accused are expected to appear by video in a Montreal court today on drug-trafficking and gangsterism charges.

Police say the importing operation was linked to a “major traditional organized crime cell.”

"This highly technical and sophisticated process consists in concealing the drugs using molecular docking," the RCMP said in a news release.