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Synopsis

Do you think the smuggling of drugs and people is a new phenomenon in Canada’s west? Think again! Between the mid-19th and mid-20th centuries, many daring smugglers carried contraband goods and people into western Canada across the US–Canada border or into BC from Asia. Smugglers of the West tells the dramatic tales of the bold criminals who smuggled Chinese immigrants, opium, liquor and a host of commodities ranging from wool to live animals to tobacco. Among them are Boss Harris, the shadowy kingpin whose opium-smuggling empire stretched from Victoria across North America, and King of the Smugglers Larry Kelly, who reputedly tied illegal Chinese immigrants to pig iron so they could be tossed overboard if American patrollers got too close. Rosemary Neering takes readers into a shadowy world where no item was too small and no risk too large for the men and women who carried goods and people clandestinely across the border.

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