Derek White’s NASCAR career may soon be over following his arrest Wednesday regarding 7 charges in connection to the biggest tobacco-smuggling bust in North American history, according to Sgt. Daniel Thibaudeau of the Quebec Provincial Police. White, who turned himself in after learning of an arrest warrant in his name, was arraigned last night. He faces 3-counts of conspiracy to commit fraud against the Canadian government, 3-counts of fraud toward the government; and 1-count of profiteering as a criminal organization.
Canadian officials, along with help from the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and Homeland Security have been investigating White since 2014, with more than 700 officers from both countries amassing proof of at least 158 transports of 2,294 tons of illegal tobacco from North Carolina to Canada from 2014-16.
Thibaudeau also told NBC Sports that about 60 people were arrest along with White, and that nearly 70 searches were conducted Wednesday, resulting in the seizure of more than 1,800 pounds of cocaine; around 46 pounds of methamphetamine; 35 five pounds of marijuana; as well as 100 grams of fentanyl. Authorities also recovers more than $1.5 million Canadian in cash and over $3 million US in cash.
White, 45 a native of Kahnawake, Quebec, currently competes part-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, driving the No. 13 Camry and No. 40 Dodge Challenger as an owner/driver for MBM Motorsports.
Prior to becoming the first Native American driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series, White (who is of Mohawk descent) spent 3 decades drag racing in Canada, before deciding to switch to stock car racing in 2009, when he ran 5 races in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series. His best finish that year was11th in his series debut atAutodrome Saint-Eustache. He also made his Camping World Truck Series debut in 2009, racing for Mario Gosselin at Martinsville Speedway, finishing 23rd after starting 34th.
In 2012, White was hired by SR2 Motorsports to run as a road course ringer for the Nationwide Series race at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Driving In the No. 24, he finished a career-high 18th. Before the 2014 Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, In 2014, he made a start in the American Canadian Tour, competing in the season-ending race at Airborne Speedway; he finished 22nd after starting 33rd.
White failed to qualify for the 2016 opening race at Daytona International Speedway, and placed last in a field of 40 on March 5th Las Vegas Motor Speedway March 5.