Family members with fugitive tendencies: Son of a suspect Canadian Mennonite drug smuggler wanted to be tried on U.S. drug charges
Twenty-eight years ago the time came for a Mennonite farmer who was from Leamington, Ont., known as Abraham Harms fled to Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, as a escapee after being accused by the police with trafficking marijuana from Mexico to Canada.
His son Enrique is being investigated on charges of dealing thousands of kilograms of illegal drugs throughout the U.S. and is a wanted man — this time, from American law.
Two decades ago the time he was jailed at the time in Mexico to smuggle marijuana inside his truck. He claimed in the moment that he had been created by his father.
A broadcast this evening regarding The Fifth Estate revisits the documentary’s report from 1992 , which examined the Harms family and the smuggling of drugs from members of Canada’s Mennonite community.
It’s believed Enrique Harms operates under the protection of the only one who is Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel in Mexico because it took over the control of the majority of drug trafficking along the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, following the death of the chief boss in the Juarez Cartel in 1997.
“Those frontier points are gateways, and cartels manage these gateways” claims Ryan Cortez who is an undercover drug operative in Oklahoma.
“And they’re extremely territorial. So , does Harms’s [Enrique Harms] have any link to cartels? Given the amount that he was able to.”
The upcoming court cases that will be heard in Canada
American officials have been worried for some time over Mennonites who have brought Mexican cartel drugs in Canada. The most recent legal cases in Canada were in Ontario.
Franz Klassen and his cousin Abraham Klassen were both sentenced in the Simcoe, Ont., courtroom in 2016 for six months in jail for trafficking cocaine to Canada.
Another pair of males, Jacob Dyck and Abram Klassen, will be to appear in court in the month of April at Lethbridge, Alta., accused of importing cocaine through the border crossing at Coutts, Atla.
Dyck along with Klassen’s case is scheduled to start in Calgary on March 31.
The first Mennonite drug trafficker
The very first Mennonite ever detained and later convicted for drug trafficking across borders as per American authorities Harms was one of his mules -one of them was a Manitoba farmer by the name of Cornelius Banman in 1989.
Harms presented a near-perfect front. Harms used farmhouses in southern Ontario to store money and drugs. He also recruited Mennonites such as Banman to transport his drugs, as per Canadian authorities as well as U.S. authorities.
As of 1989 Harms was detained in an undercover operation in Ontario.
After being released on bail from police from the Leamington Police Services, he ran away immediately to Cuauhtemoc the town of Cuauhtemoc, which is located within the State of Chihuahua.
five estate Co-host Hana Gartner found him in the documentary of 1992. the interview will air in the show tonight, “The Mennonite Connection.”
Then, two years after, still wanted by criminal justice within Canada, Harms died in a crash with a vehicle in Mexico.
There is speculation the possibility that son Enrique could have played a role in the incident, but it hasn’t been proved.
“One does not know the family’s issues. If drugs, money or alcohol are involved in it, there’s a chance,” says Cortez.
Following the passing of Harms’s son, Abraham’s life as a suspected smuggler became immortalized by a song by the local Mexican group called Banda Joven.
This is what the lyrics to “El Corrido de Abraham” say:
I’m fed up having a poor life,
Abraham spoke to that his children.
I’m headed in America. U.S.
To make a sale of just a few kilograms…
God has taken Abraham away
However, his sons remained.
Arrest in Canada
Enrique Harms has only been taken into custody once in Canada — on minor offenses — by an Leamington Police Services officer in the early 1990s. He was photographed, fingerprinted and released.
Since then, he’s been indicted 3 times within the U.S. for smuggling drugs and most recently, in Colorado in 2013.
The indictment of trafficking marijuana was issued following that the Drug Enforcement Agency seized 1,000 kilograms of marijuana to be used in the Mennonite project in Calgary.
Interview with the former Los Angeles Times reporter Sam Quinones, the Leamington Police Services officer who took in Abraham Harms in 1989 and Enrique Harms a few years following that stated: “What I’ve seen in 1988 is that it has gone from a person selling a couple hundreds of pounds of cannabis to individuals who sell thousands of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana all across all over the United States and Canada.
“[Abraham as well as Enrique Harms] are the founders of the Mennonite mob. It’s the first family. They’re involved in murders and all other things.”
According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says that one of their informants Abraham Wiebe, was ordered to be kidnapped by Enrique Harms and tortured for two weeks in Mexico before being dumped into the water in 1999. The body of Wiebe has not been discovered.
The widow of Wiebe said that she had was able to leave her Mennonite faith because of it she remarried and moved to a new state with their children.
Cortez claimed that arresting Enrique Harms would give him “closure” over the demise of Abraham Wiebe.
“He died for us. It’s the black-and-white way I’m able to describe it,” Cortez told fifth estate host Bob McKeown in February.
Ronnie Jackson, the former Thomas, Okla., police chief who introduced Wiebe to Cortez He says that even now, years later, the case remains a source of worry for him.
“The tale of Wiebe being tortured and kidnapped it is a burden,” he said, his words drifting off.
“I haven’t experienced any issues lately however there have been times when I’ve woken up and seen it in my dreams,” he said in an interview by phone from Arizona.
Jackson claimed that another informant had said to an agent of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics that Wiebe “was electrocuted, castrated and dumped into an undetermined lake within Mexico.”
Enrique Harms is said to have at the very least four brothers and one sibling.
His brother John has made it a profession as a film actor playing and producing in a variety of Mexican films featuring drug criminals.
The details aren’t known about what happened to the siblings, or their mother.
A source from the police in Canada claims that he suspects Enrique along with his brother travel back and forth between Wheatley close to Leamington and Cuauhtemoc until today by using fake IDs due to family connections to Ontario.
The current location of Enrique Harms is not known, but American authorities believe that he is still living in Cuauhtemoc.