U.S.-Canada Probe Into Pot Leads To Indictments

U.S.-Canada Probe Into Pot Leads To Indictments
Posted by FoM on May 14, 2000 at 08:31:21 PT
By The Associated Press 
Source: Seattle Times
Ten people have been indicted for alleged involvement in a ring that investigators say used aircraft and snowmobiles to smuggle "B.C. bud" marijuana across the U.S.-Canadian border. In addition to the counts filed in U.S. District Court here, charges are pending in British Columbia, assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Harrington said. 
The ring is believed to have ferried millions of dollars worth of potent British Columbia-grown marijuana over the border from July 1998 to last August, Harrington said. Most of the men alleged to have been involved are Canadian citizens and have already been arrested. Several face extradition to the United States. Investigators have seized $529,000 in U.S. currency smuggled into Canada as payment for the marijuana, Harrington said. Some of the money was seized by Royal Canadian Mounted Police who stopped a vehicle near a border area in British Columbia in December 1998. Canadian police were able to track the vehicle because a truck that had been traveling with the vehicle had been secretly fitted with a global-positioning device while it was parked in Spokane, Harrington said. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents installed the device after getting a search warrant and cooperated with Canadian police in tracking the truck.. The device allowed DEA agents to follow the truck to a remote border area in northeastern Washington in February 1999. The agents trekked through deep snow to watch a snowmobile enter the United States and meet a truck driven by Peter John Gregory Roberts, 61, of Malakwa, B.C., Harrington said. When the snowmobile returned to Canada and was loaded on another truck, that vehicle was stopped, resulting in the seizure of $315,000 in U.S. currency, Harrington said. Last July, DEA agents followed Roberts and his son after they drove to a remote dirt airstrip about 80 miles west of Spokane near Wilson Creek in Grant County, Harrington said. Investigators believe the airstrip and other remote landing sites in Eastern Washington were used as drop points by airplanes ferrying marijuana from British Columbia. A small plane left the Wilson Creek airstrip as agents arrived. Roberts and his son were arrested as they tried to drive away from the airstrip. Agents seized 43 pounds of marijuana from their vehicle, Harrington said. Three days before his trial was scheduled to start in Spokane, Roberts pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to import marijuana. Other counts will be dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Roberts, who faces at least five years in prison when he is sentenced in August, told a judge at Friday's court hearing that he was a "mule" in the operation who followed orders from higher-ups. Harrington described Roberts as "vice president of U.S. operations" for the ring. Another Canadian, Colin Martin, 26, of Salmon Arm, B.C., is accused in court documents of being the operation's leader. Martin, along with a brother and their father, face extradition to the United States to face felony drug charges, Harrington said. The operation started using airstrips after three of its couriers were intercepted carrying marijuana-filled gym bags across the border in July 1998 near the northeastern Washington town of Metaline Falls. Two of the couriers dropped their bags and fled, but U.S. Customs agents arrested one of the men. After his arrest, Jeffrey Scott Dermott told DEA agents about the operation and was released on $25,000 bond. He failed to appear for a court date and is a fugitive, Harrington said. Spokane, WashingtonPublished: Sunday, May 14, 2000Copyright  2000 The Seattle Times Company Related Article:High Times for Cottage Industry Articles On The DEA:
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on May 14, 2000 at 16:40:02 PT
How stupid can they get?
 I gotta add my two cents worth,(or is it up to three?),to kaps insights. The people doing the actual busting in the wilderness of S.E Washington state,(my homeland),and elsewhere,are not stupid.Most of these people are just tryin' to bring home the bacon to the wife and kids.Of course their job is stupid,but I cant blame them for finding themselves employed by the Evil Empire. Come to think of it,I dont think the term "stupid",would apply to most of enforcers,and for that matter,the lawmakers.I prefer to use the terms "ignorant",or "misled",,,perhaps "brainwashed".The tragedy is,that all these terms apply to the spoonfed public,and I feel stupid for not being able to do more to stop this Evil Empire....................JAH be with you all..........dddd
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on May 14, 2000 at 14:03:30 PT:
Meanwhile, South of El Norte
Another shipment of black-tar heroin worth millions of dollars is being driven nonchalantly through the US-Mex border, courtesy of the enormous trade 'benefits' of NAFTA. And another. And another. Every day, all day, all week, all year round. Contributing to the deaths of another 14,000 people... while cannabis hasn't accounted for a single death in 5,000 years.All the money, time and effort spent by these Mission Impossible wannabes... for cannabis. Helicopters. GPS's. Yep, they are really saving the chil-drun. Some of whom, when they can't get safer cannabis, wind up giving horse a try.I quit asking "How stupid can they get?" because I'm afraid of the answer.
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