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LEADERS OF CANADIAN DRUG RING ARRESTED FOLLOWING UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION -
Kingpin with Hells Angels Ties Arrested at Meeting in Ferndale, Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2008

Two Canadian citizens were arrested yesterday in Ferndale, Washington, following a lengthy investigation of their distribution of BC Bud Marijuana and cocaine. ROBERT J. SHANNON, 38, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and DEVRON D. QUAST, 38, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:30 today. SHANNON and QUAST were indicted along with seven others for Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana. The arrests come after a three year investigation that involved undercover officers and resulted in the seizure of more than 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 7,000 pounds of BC Bud and about $3.5 million. Over the course of the investigation 38 people have been charged with drug trafficking and related offenses.

According to the indictment, SHANNON was in charge of distributing the narcotics on behalf of the Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle gang and others. SHANNON directed the smuggling activities. Drugs were hidden inside hollowed out logs on trucks, within the false walls of cargo containers and vehicles, within loads of commercial lumber and beauty bark, inside large PVC pipes, and within the interior of a propane tanker. Some loads were carried on foot across the international border between the United States and Canada. QUAST oversaw the day to day operations of the drug transportation, even providing insurance to the Canadian marijuana suppliers that drugs would be successfully smuggled into the U.S. QUAST agreed to pay the suppliers $425 per pound of marijuana, if any load was seized by law enforcement, or lost in some other fashion, during transport.

Yesterday, law enforcement seized an additional $50,000 and hundreds of pounds of BC Bud that the ring was attempting to smuggle into the U.S. QUAST and SHANNON had come to Ferndale to meet with the undercover officer in connection with the drug deal. Also taken into custody was indicted co-defendant RICHARD JANSEN. Another man was also arrested and will be charged by complaint later today for his role in the conspiracy. OUAST and defendant PHILLIP STONE, who remains in Canada, are employed at Don Quast Hyundai. According to the company web site DEVRON QUAST is the General Manager, and PHIL STONE is the Sales Manager.

The others charged in the indictment, and their roles are:

PHILLIP W. STONE, 45, Abbotsford, British Columbia, who obtained containers and trailers to transport BC Bud into the U.S.
RICHARD JANSEN, 33, Chilliwack, British Columbia, owner of Scorpion Transport Services, assisted the organization by driving his trucks across the border to facilitate future smuggling.
JESSE HOLMES, 64, Blaine, Washington, provided a Bellingham warehouse where the drug organization stored loads of marijuana.
TOMOHISA KAWABATA, 34, Vancouver, British Columbia, while in New York received a shipment of marijuana from the organization and provided $3.3 million to the load driver. The driver, Rusty Boschee, was arrested in Wyoming and the money was seized.
TODD GABRIEL, 41, Everett, Washington delivered loads of marijuana in western Washington and California.
CHANCE GERRIOR, 42, Arlington, Washington, allowed his property to be used to store marijuana.
KORINNE DOGGETT, 42, Arlington, Washington, allowed marijuana to be stored at her home.

To date, 38 defendants have been charged in connection with the investigation. Twelve of them are Canadian. Some of the defendants are from as far away as Iowa, Illinois, and Ontario, Canada. Rusty Boschee, of West Linn, Oregon was sentenced last month to five years in prison.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

If convicted SHANNON and QUAST face up to life in prison based on the drug amounts involved.

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell. Mr. Cornell is a Deputy Snohomish County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute drug cases in federal court.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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