When you get right down to it, even a mega-million-dollar international criminal caper is mostly boring shitwork. As Frank Bourassa tells it, his own criminal masterpiece hinged on the events of one morning in early December 2009, a morning he says he spent freezing his ass off in a parking lot, staring through binoculars at the Port of Montreal. On the face of it, the shipment he was waiting for was also dull stuff: boxes of blank paper, nothing more. If the customs agents were to crack into the cartons, Frank was praying that mere paper was all they’d see.
Frank’s buddies, in two separate cars, had been surveilling the parking lot for two days, and though they didn’t see anything out of the ordinary, he says he was uneasy, knowing that at any time, a bunch of law-enforcement people might swoop down out of nowhere and snatch him up. Frank was right to be paranoid. Indeed, a day would come when a bunch of law-enforcement people would swoop down out of nowhere and snatch him up—but not today. Sensing the moment was right, Frank made a call to another of his guys, a runner he’d hired, and gave him the green light to pull his box truck through the security gates and into the port to load up the shipment.