FEDERAL WAY MAN CONVICTED OF COCAINE POSSESSION IN CONNECTION WITH CROSS BORDER SMUGGLING
Defendant Linked to Backpacks Full of Cocaine Discovered by Boy Scout Ranger
LEROY CARR, 47, of Federal Way, Washington, was convicted today in U.S. District Court in Seattle of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. The jury deliberated ten hours after a four day jury trial. CARR was arrested September 15, 2007, about 100 yards south of the Sumas Port of Entry after multiple interactions with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel. CARR faces a mandatory minimum ten years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ricardo S. Martinez on January 16, 2009.
According to records in the case and testimony at trial, CARR had come to the attention of border agents on numerous occasions. On December 27, 2006, CARR was questioned by officers at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry because he carried a backpack with more than $5,700 in cash, night vision goggles and a global positioning system (GPS) unit with coordinates for a well-known drug smuggling trail near the Black Mountain area on the United States/Canadian border. Just a few weeks later, on January 12, 2007, CARR was arrested by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Peace Arch Park for trying to illegally enter Canada. When CARR was returned to the U.S. on January 16, 2007, he was carrying the same GPS unit and more than $9,400 in cash. On two other occasions CARR was found near the border with large amounts of cash. On July 6, 2007, Sumas police arrested him on a warrant after he was stopped in a vehicle driving near the Canadian border in the Black Mountain area and found he was carrying $4,300 in cash. On July 25, 2007, CARR attempted to cross into the U.S. by walking on the railroad tracks near Sumas. He was escorted back to the border and was found to have more than $6,000 in U.S. and Canadian currency, the GPS device, night vision goggles and two blue backpacks.
On August 7, 2007, CARR contacted ICE agents at the border claiming that he had stashed 31 kilograms of cocaine in two blue hiking backpacks near the border. CARR indicated the drugs were hidden in the brush near the entrance to a Boy Scout camp on Silver Lake Road in Maple Falls, Washington. CARR said he stashed the drugs August 3rd, and when he returned on August 4th, with the intent of smuggling them into Canada under the cover of darkness, they were gone. CARR wanted the ICE agents to put out a press release saying the government had seized the drugs, so that the organized criminal group he works for would not retaliate against him for stealing the drugs. Two weeks later, on August 21, 2007, the Ranger and Camp Director of the Black Mountain Boy Scout Camp called the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force and reported two blue backpacks he had just found near the entrance the camp that appeared to contain cocaine. The backpacks were dry and in good shape. Tests showed they contained 31 kilograms of cocaine.
At trial, CARR acknowledged that he made these statements to ICE agents in August 2007. However, he claimed that he had made up that story and had, in fact, never possessed the cocaine, even though he had specifically described to ICE agents the amount of cocaine, the fact that they were in two blue hiking backpacks, and the location where they were eventually found to the ICE agents.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, and the Northwest Drug Task Force.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham and Katheryn K. Frierson.
For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.