CANADIAN CAR DEALER PLEADS GUILTY TO DRUG CONSPIRACY AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Admits Involvement in Smuggling More than 30,000 kilos of BC Bud Marijuana
DEVRON D. QUAST, 38, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana and Conspiracy to Engage in Money Laundering. QUAST was arrested in June 2008, following a three year investigation that involved undercover officers and resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine, 7,000 pounds of BC Bud and about $3.5 million. QUAST faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison and up to life in prison when sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on March 6, 2009. QUAST’s plea agreement states that he intends to apply for treaty transfer to Canada immediately following his sentencing. QUAST had been held at the Federal Detention Center at Sea-Tac since his arrest.
According to records filed in the case, 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. While involved at a high level in the drug conspiracy, QUAST was employed as General Manager at his father’s car dealership, Don Quast Hyundai.
On the day QUAST was arrested with co-defendant Robert L. Shannon, law enforcement seized an additional $60,000 and hundreds of pounds of BC Bud that the ring was attempting to traffick into the U.S. QUAST and Shannon had come to Ferndale to meet with the undercover officer in connection with the drug deal.
Other defendants who have entered guilty pleas include:
Phillip W. Stone, 45, Abbotsford, British Columbia, who obtained containers and trailers to transport BC Bud into the U.S. pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana on November 17, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 13, 2009.
John H. Fairweather pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute Cocaine and Marijuana on October 16, 2008, and is scheduled to be sentenced January 19, 2009.
Chance Gerrior, 42, Arlington, Washington, allowed his property to be used to store marijuana. PGerrior pleaded guilty October 9, 2008, to Misprision of a Felony and is scheduled to be sentenced January 9, 2009.
Korinne Doggett, 42, Arlington, Washington, allowed marijuana to be stored at her home. On October 1, 2008, she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of Possessing a Controlled Substance. Dogget is scheduled to be sentenced December 10, 2008.
These defendants are all scheduled for trial on February 23, 2009, in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik:
Robert J. Shannon, 38, of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, who was allegedly in charge of distributing the narcotics on behalf of the Hells Angels Outlaw Motorcycle gang and others.
Richard Jansen, 33, Chilliwack, British Columbia, owner of Scorpion Transport Services, allegedly assisted the organization by driving his trucks across the border to facilitate future smuggling.
Jesse Holmes, 64, Blaine, Washington, allegedly provided a Bellingham warehouse where the drug organization stored loads of marijuana.
Todd Gabriel, 41, Everett, Washington allegedly delivered loads of marijuana in western Washington and California.
To date, 40 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,
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was lead by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with significant support from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Douglas Whalley and 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.