Canadian involved in cross-border drug ring that used helicopters pleads guilty in U.S.

SEATTLE -- A Canadian man pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge Monday for his involvement in a ring that used low-flying helicopters to smuggle cocaine and marijuana across the U.S.

See Full Article

border in 2008 and 2009.

Sean William Doak entered the plea in U.S. District Court in Seattle after fighting extradition for years.

Under the terms of his plea deal, prosecutors and his lawyer agreed to recommend a prison term of seven to eight years, though the judge is not bound to follow that.

Investigators say the conspiracy was headed by Colin Hugh Martin, who has yet to be brought to the U.S. to face prosecution. His attorney, Peter Camiel, said Monday it isn't clear if or when Martin might be extradited.

At the time, Martin was out on bail pending an appeal of his sentence for an earlier smuggling operation involving his father and brother. He nevertheless managed to use a front company registered in his wife's name to lease helicopters that were used to ferry loads of marijuana and MDMA south to remote forests in Washington state and northern Idaho, and shipments of cocaine back into British Columbia.

In a 2009 interview with The Associated Press, Martin acknowledged obtaining the helicopters: "Sure, I have a past, but those charges were a decade ago," he said. "If you have the money and you want to get into a helicopter business, you can -- doesn't matter who that individual is."

One participant told authorities they brought more than 650 pounds of cocaine into Canada every week. The cocaine was typically driven from the Los Angeles area.

One pilot, 24-year-old Sam Lindsay-Brown, committed suicide in the Spokane County Jail after he flew into a setup and was met by DEA agents in early 2009.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Resistance 150: Why everyone isn't celebrating Canada's birthday

    Canada News CTV News
    As organizers ramp up anticipation for Canada’s big bash honouring the 150th anniversary of Confederation, indigenous activists are rallying their own counter-celebrations. The #Resistance150 movement was created nearly eight months ago by Anishinaabe traditional storyteller and teacher Isaac Murdoch, Michif visual artist Christi Belcourt, Cree activist Tanya Kappo and Métis author Maria Campbell while they were discussing the government’s planned festivities for Canada 150. Source
  • CNN retraction, resignations prompt fresh swipe from Trump

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump used the resignations of three CNN journalists involved in a retracted Russia-related story to resume his attack on the network's credibility Tuesday. The story was about a supposed investigation into a pre-inaugural meeting between a Trump associate and the head of a Russian investment fund. Source
  • 'It happened very quick': Winnipegger sucker-punched by stranger

    Canada News CTV News
    A Winnipeg woman is worried she may lose the sight in one of her eyes after she says she was punched in the face by a stranger. Brittney Thomas-Ljungberg, 28, says the attack happened Sunday in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. Source
  • Soiled diapers, feces-filled jeans dumped outside elderly couple's home

    Canada News CTV News
    An elderly couple in Nova Scotia says they're tired of the "crap" someone keeps dumping at the end of their driveway. Jack and Mary Skinner say someone has been leaving soiled diapers, dirty underpants and men's jeans filled with feces outside their country home in Upper Branch N.S. Source
  • The Queen is getting a raise

    World News CBC News
    Queen Elizabeth is set to receive an increase in the official funding she receives each year. Buckingham Palace said Tuesday the "sovereign grant" will be roughly $138 million Cdn next year — an increase of more than $10 million Cdn. Source
  • British PM calls for 'major national investigation' into cladding after deadly blaze

    World News CBC News
    British Prime Minister Theresa May said Tuesday there must be a "major national investigation" into the use of potentially flammable cladding fitted to high-rise towers across the country, as police formally identified a five-year-old boy as one of youngest victims of London's Grenfell Tower fire tragedy. Source
  • Black teens pushing float weren’t meant to resemble slaves, parade organizers say

    Canada News CTV News
    Organizers of this year's St. Jean Baptiste celebrations in Montreal have issued an apology to anyone offended by the sight of black teens pushing floats carrying white people during Saturday's parade. A video recorded at the parade and posted online shows pop singer Annie Villeneuve on a float being pushed by what appears to be only people of colour dressed in what many said looked like the rags of slaves. Source
  • China hits back at U.S. on human trafficking downgrade

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING -- China has pre-emptively hit back at the United States for speaking "irresponsibly" ahead of an expected Trump administration move to name China among the world's worst human trafficking offenders. Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Tuesday that China strongly opposes the U.S. Source
  • For many, Canada 150 celebrations pale in comparison to nostalgia of Expo 67

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Dominic Ardonato doesn't see much reason to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. The retired high school teacher complains about a disappointing economy, racial divides, and political squabbles that dominate his life in Montreal. Source
  • See the view from CN Tower’s new floor-to-ceiling 'window walls'

    Canada News CTV News
    At nearly 41 years old, the CN Tower is making a very sensible, middle-aged adjustment: it's getting transition lenses. The iconic structure in the heart of Toronto has revealed a major renovation on its viewing deck, where two self-tinting, floor-to-ceiling window walls were just unveiled. Source