Four B.C. men face extradition to U.S. over cocaine, pot smuggling charges

Vancouver Sun on May 2, 2012 released the following:

“BY KIM BOLAN

Four B.C. men facing charges in Washington state in a multimillion-dollar cross-border drug smuggling case have been arrested on extradition warrants.

Colin Hugh Martin, Sean Doak, James Gregory Cameron and Adam Christian Serrano were picked up last month by the RCMP and have appeared in court in connection with the American extradition requests.

All four are alleged to be part of a major smuggling operation headed by Mar-tin involving hundreds of kilograms of marijuana and cocaine and at least two helicopters to transport their illicit product. In fact, the pilot of one of those helicopters, Sam Brown, hanged himself in a Spokane jail after being arrested in February 2009 in the midst of a cross-border run.

U.S. court documents allege Martin, 39, sent helicopters he leased for his company, Gorge Timber, full of pot and ecstasy (MDMA) to remote landing sites in Washington and Idaho. The gang is alleged to have brought back to B.C. as much as 300 kilograms a week of cocaine.

Both Martin and Doak, 37, have previous convictions for drug trafficking in B.C.

When the charges against the foursome were first made public in January 2010, U.S. authorities said they would seek extradition of the accused within weeks. But their arrests took place more than two years later and the extradition fight in Canadian courts could continue for several more years.

Delays in the extradition process can occur at several levels. Once a Canadian is charged in the U.S., the American jurisdiction gets its paperwork ready and ships it off to Washington, D.C. The U.S. capital then sends it off to Ottawa and eventually it makes its way to the court in the jurisdiction of the accused.

A growing number of B.C. residents charged in the U.S. are surrendering on their own in exchange for lesser sentences.

Just last Friday, Jus-tin Harris, a former Hells Angel prospect charged in Washington in another drug smuggling case, got just three months in jail after surrendering to U.S. authorities and pleading guilty to one of the counts he was facing.

In March, former Bacon brother associate Dustin Haugen was sentenced to time served in Spokane for cross-border marijuana smuggling, also by helicopter. The U.S. attorney submitted in sentencing documents that Haugen deserved a break on sentencing after agreeing to plead guilty and surrendering to U.S. authorities.

Last year, several of Harris’s co-accused were given extra credit at sentencing in Seattle for voluntarily crossing the border to plead guilty without exhausting the extradition process in Canada.

Figures provided this week by the Canadian Department of Justice show there are 11 cases before B.C. courts involving extradition requests by the U.S.

Three of those cases, Iyhab El-Jabsheh, Ali Ibrahim and Omid Tahvili, involve telemarketing fraud charges in California. (Tahvili escaped from North Fraser Pre-trial in November 2007 and has not resurfaced.) Five of the 11 cases involve drug conspiracy charges and the final three matters involve allegations of sexual exploitation, bank robbery and assault.

Another eight B.C. residents have been surrendered to the U.S. in the last two years in fraud cases, some voluntarily and some by court order after losing their appeals. And 11 accused traffickers or smugglers from B.C. have been surrendered to the U.S. since spring 2010 after the requests for extradition were made.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
International Extradition Lawyers Videos:

International Extradition – When the FBI Seeks Extradition

International Extradition – Wire Transfer – Email – Telephone Call

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We previously discussed the extradition treaty between the United States and Canada here.

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To find additional global criminal news, please read The Global Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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