United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
SEVEN CANADIAN DEFENDANTS SENTENCED FOR ROLES IN MASSIVE DRUG SMUGGLING SCHEME
Two Most Culpable Taken Into Custody to Immediately Begin Prison Sentences
Seven members of a drug conspiracy with ties to the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and probation today for their roles in trafficking thousands of pounds of B.C. Bud marijuana and cocaine across the U.S./Canada border. JODY YORK, 36, of Barriere, B.C. was sentenced to the longest prison term – 59 months – and was taken into custody on the spot. EDWARD RUSSELL, 34, of Surrey, B.C., a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen was sentenced to 54 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine. RUSSELL too was taken into custody after sentencing. The men were described as managers in a drug organization that moved thousands of pounds of marijuana south into the U.S. hidden in PVC pipe, hallowed out logs, wood chips and hidden compartments in tractor trailer rigs. The leader of the conspiracy, Rob Shannon, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in March 2009.
Shannon and co-conspirator Devron Quast were 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, 54 defendants have been charged in connection with the investigation, and 48 have been convicted. Twenty-eight Canadians have been charged in the conspiracy and 22 have pleaded guilty. The defendants sentenced today voluntarily traveled from Canada to accept responsibility for their criminal conduct. Their voluntary surrender is reflected in the government sentencing recommendations.
At the sentencing hearings Chief U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik talked with each defendant about their role in the case, and the large amount of drugs trafficked. Judge Lasnik told JODY YORK, this was “a major drug organization that had a terrible impact on lower British Columbia and this part of the U.S. ... Your kids and other people’s kids are the ones that suffer when a community is riddled with violence the way Vancouver B.C. is.”
These other defendants were sentenced today:
BRYAN HANNA, 28, from Vancouver, B.C.,was sentenced to a year in prison.
ANDREW HALL, 33, from Abbotsford, B.C. was sentenced to two years probation, a $5,000 fine and 120 hours of community service.
DARREN HOTNER, 42, of Abbotsford, B.C., was sentenced to two years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 120 hours of community service.
BRIAN STONE, 48, of Surrey, B.C. was sentenced to one year probation and 80 hours of community service.
FREDERICK DAVEY, 63, was sentenced to one year probation.
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 led 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 Sarah Vogel.