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Sirens & Gavels

More charges in pot border smuggling

The owner of the Ferry County property where drug agents caught two Canadian pot smugglers last fall faces federal marijuana charges.

Harold Oscar Strandberg, of Danville, is accused of using his property at Fourth of July Creek Road, which is on the U.S.-Canadian border, to import marijuana from Canada, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane.

Strandberg was home when Drug Enforcement Administration agents arrived Nov. 1 on a tip that drug smugglers were at the property.

Strandberg reportedly told them he knew nothing about the case and let the agents search the property, where they eventually found William Richard Paterson, 50, and Jahrum David Oakes, 32, with duffel bags filled with marijuana.

Paterson and Oakes, both of Kelowna B.C, pleaded guilty Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court to three counts of possession with intent to distribute 50 kilograms or more of marijuana. The men, who are in Spokane County Jail, will be sentenced April 22. Each charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison and a minimum of three. No plea deals were made.

There was a pre-trial conference in Strandberg’s case last week. He’s not in jail, and he pleaded not guilty to the charges Jan. 8.

Strandberg was an eight-year member of the Curlew School Board, according to the Omak Chronicle. He did not seek reelection last year, the newspaper reported.

Past coverage:

Pot smugglers: We’re guilty

2 arrested after DEA finds pot near border


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