Vernon man sentenced in US for operating helicopter drug smuggling ring

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VERNON - A Vernon man who was the leader of a helicopter drug smuggling ring has been sentenced to seven years in prison after years of fighting extradition.

Sean William Doak, 42, was sentenced in a Seattle courtroom today, June 10, according to a media release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington state. The ring moved drugs from the U.S. across the border to Canada in devices ranging from helicopters to backpacks.

Doak was indicted in 2010 for his role in the operation that lasted from at least 2007 to 2009. He was extradited to the U.S. in 2015 and pleaded guilty last December to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana, cocaine and ecstasy.

At today’s sentencing U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik noted that the drugs trafficked by Doak's organization "fed addiction" across North America.

According to court records, Doak was operating his drug trafficking ring even while he was on work release for a drug sentence here in Canada.

Doak and his colleagues arranged for drugs to be smuggled across the U.S.-Canada border by truckers, hikers and snowmobilers — and toward the end of the operation — by helicopter.

US law enforcement seized a large amount of drugs connected to the ring, including 240,000 MDMA pills, 175 kilograms of cocaine, and 745 lbs. of marijuana.

Some of Doak's other colleagues have been sentenced from 18 months to 10 years in prison.

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