CANADIAN CAR DEALER SENTENCED TO 75 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR DRUG CONSPIRACY AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Admits Leadership Role in Smuggling Hundreds of Pounds of Cocaine and More than 60,000 pounds of BC Bud Marijuana
DEVRON D. QUAST, 40, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 75 months in prison and five years of supervised release for 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.
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. At the sentencing hearing, Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell said, “the skills that once made Mr. Quast a successful and prosperous business man were tragically deployed to further a vast drug trafficking enterprise.”
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, who admitted to being one of the leaders of the criminal organization, 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, Washington, to meet with the undercover officer in connection with the drug deal.
QUAST pleaded guilty November 20, 2008.
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 was sentenced March 13, 2009, to 20 years in prison.
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. Stone was sentenced on July 10, 2009, to four years in prison.
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. Jansen was sentenced on April 10, 2009, to 18 months in prison.
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 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 Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell, at (206) 553-7970.