United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
CANADIAN WHO ABANDONED MORE THAN 500 POUNDS OF BC BUD IN PUGET SOUND SENTENCED TO 30 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR DRUG SMUGGLING CONSPIRACY
Attempt to Flee From Law Enforcement Ends with Engine Trouble
COLIN CHARLES CROWE, 27, of Maple Ridge, B.C., Canada, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release for conspiracy to import a controlled substance. CROWE and Kyle Grayson Gadsby were arrested May 31, 2010, while attempting to smuggle more than 547 pounds of BC Bud marijuana into the U.S. near Clallam Bay, Washington. The men were spotted and arrested by Border Patrol officers. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle said this was a serious offense involving a lot of drugs that are destructive to our communities.
According to records filed in the case, CROWE and Gadsby were first spotted with a small boat just off shore. One man was in the boat, the other in the water standing next to it. The Border Patrol agent spotted a number of large dark packages in the boat, and ordered the men to stay where they were. Instead, the men took off in the boat. A short time later, another Border Patrol agent spotted the men still in U.S. waters in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Nearby, eight large bundles were floating in the water – the bundles were wrapped in plastic and duct tape. The marijuana in the bundles weighed more than 547 pounds. The men told authorities they were being paid $5,000 to smuggle the BC Bud marijuana into the U.S. Engine trouble stopped the men from fleeing back to Canada after being spotted by the first Border Patrol agent.
Co-defendant Gadsby is scheduled to be sentenced April 25, 2011.
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance from the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Thomas.