Two years in jail not the end for Shuswap pot grower accused of drug smuggling
By Charlotte Helston
(CHARLOTTE HELSTON / iNFOnews.ca)
November 12, 2014 - 1:25 PM
VERNON - A Shuswap pot grower recently handed two years in jail will likely face further allegations in the U.S. upon his release.
In Vancouver Supreme Court Nov. 7, Colin Martin was sentenced on marijuana production for the purpose of trafficking charges in connection to a large, sophisticated grow-operation located in Malakwa. When police raided the property in July 2010, they discovered around 3,000 marijuana plants in a hidden bunker.
For that crime, Martin earned two years in jail, plus one-year probation and a lifetime ban on possessing firearms. But American prosecutors allege Martin played a much larger role in drug trafficking. In a U.S. indictment, Martin is accused of being part of a conspiracy to fly drugs across the border. The alleged drug ring used helicopters leased for Martin’s company, Gorge Timber Corporation, to move marijuana and MDMA to the U.S., where it was exchanged for cocaine to bring back to Canada. It’s alleged that Martin and his co-conspirators smuggled up to 300 kg of cocaine per week.
One of the pilots named in the indictment reportedly hanged himself at the Spokane County Jail following his arrest. Another pilot, Jeremy Snow, was murdered in Kelowna last year.
A judge has ordered Martin extradited to the U.S. for prosecution. It’s expected he will have to carry out his two-year jail sentence before being extradited.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014