News and Press Releases

Langley Man Sent “Mules” with 50 Kilos of Ephedrine Across the Border

September 5, 2008

KYLE GIANIS, 24, of Langley, British Columbia, Canada, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 13 years in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Possess Ephedrine with Intent to Distribute. GIANIS was convicted June 5, 2008, following a three day jury trial.

GIANIS was indicted in January 2004, following the arrest of two men at the Canadian border. According to court records and testimony at trial, the men were arrested March 12, 2004, as they attempted to cross into the United States at Blaine, Washington, with 50 kilos of ephedrine in their vehicle. The drug, a precursor used in methamphetamine, was in two barrels hidden in the back of the vehicle. Independently, both men identified GIANIS as the person who had arranged for the drug smuggling. GIANIS was arrested in December 2007, nearly four years after the indictment was returned. GIANIS was arrested in New York after he was ejected from Mexico by the Mexican government.

Following a three day jury trial in June 2008, the jury deliberated less than a day before returning a guilty verdict.

In asking for a significant sentence prosecutors noted the huge amount of ephedrine in the vehicle, which would be used to manufacture methamphetamine. “Ephedrine is the primary feedstock chemical used to make methamphetamine, and without a steady supply, meth cooks simply cannot make their product.... Methamphetamine trafficking and abuse is a tremendous problem in our community... Without the help of the Defendant and other suppliers of precursor chemicals, methamphetamine simply cannot be manufactured. Defendant is just as culpable as the person who ultimately uses the ephedrine to make methamphetamine,” Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi wrote in his sentencing memo. U.S. District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez cited the large quantity of ephedrine involved and the seriousness of the offense in imposing the lengthy sentence.

The case was investigated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vince Lombardi.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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