SEATTLE -- U.S. and Canadian authorities say they've arrested nine people so far in a joint drug smuggling investigation dubbed "Operation Blade Runner."
The probe began last month with the seizure of two helicopters and millions of dollars worth of marijuana and cocaine, the Seattle Times reported Wednesday.
Helicopters seized by U.S. authorities were carrying about 600 pounds of "B.C. Bud" marijuana and nearly 170 pounds of cocaine.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police seized an additional 150 pounds of marijuana, 40,000 tables of ecstasy and several firearms.
U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sullivan said his office is looking into the recent suicide in the Spokane jail of helicopter pilot Samuel Lindsay-Brown of British Columbia.
Sullivan said Lindsay-Brown was not only a suspect but also a potential witness in the case who could have provided information about the operation.
Intelligence gleaned from previous arrests helped undercover agents nab a helicopter in Idaho March 5 carrying 174 pounds of pot.
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