CANADIAN WOMAN CONVICTED OF SMUGGLING MARIJUANA INTO U.S. BY BOAT
Woman Is One of Four Defendants Charged in the Case – Three Remain Fugitives in Canada
KIMBERLY ROUSE, 37, of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, was convicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle yesterday of Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute. ROUSE and three other Canadians were arrested on June 7, 2006 as they attempted to smuggle nearly 200 pounds of marijuana into the United States by boat. The jury deliberated nine hours following a one day trial in front of U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour. Sentencing is set for March 9, 2007.
According to documents filed in the case, ROUSE was in a small boat that was spotted sailing into Birch Bay, Washington at about 10:20 PM. The boat was traveling without running lights. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers had noticed not only the boat, but two men on shore in a rental van as well. A Customs and Border Protection aircraft was able to videotape the boat as four large hockey bags were being unloaded. After the boat left the beach, it turned on it’s running lights and headed north. The U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection were able to stop the boat. ROUSE was driving the boat when it was stopped by authorities. On board investigators found a Global Positioning System (GPS) device that showed the boat’s trip had originated in Crescent Beach, British Columbia. ROUSE and RICHARD GOW were arrested on board. ICE agents stopped the rental van as it sped down I-5. Inside they seized nearly 200 pounds of marijuana in four hockey bags. DANIEL MacLEOD and RICKY CLARK were arrested with the van. GOW, CLARK and MacLEOD have all been indicted and currently are fugitives in Canada.
"This conviction sends a clear message to would-be drug smugglers," said Leigh Winchell, Special Agent in Charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Seattle. "ICE will continue to work aggressively with its law enforcement partners to deter the smuggling of contraband across our borders whether by air, land or sea."
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the U.S. Coast Guard.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Otake.
Various trial exhibits showing the boat, night vision pictures of the off-load and apprehension of the boat, and pictures of the hockey bags of marijuana are available by contacting Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.