Two Canadian men were arrested near the United States border with 159 pounds of Ecstasy, authorities said today.
Christopher S. Stocken, 31, and Joshua J. Bird, 23, appeared in U.S. District Court in Spokane this afternoon to hear their charges.
The suspects were booked into the Spokane County Jail Saturday about 3 p.m. after being arrested in the Colville area, the U.S. Border Patrol confirmed.
They face charges of possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy and importation of Ecstasy. A hearing to determine if they can be released from jail on bail is scheduled for Thursday.
Border patrol agents found the men with five backpacks after they crossed into the country illegally from Canada. Agents arrested Stocken and Bird as they tried to hide in the brush near a trail just south of the border. Investigators estimate the Ecstasy tablets to be worth $4.5 million.
"This seizure is a direct result of the valuable work executed daily by our highly skilled Border Patrol agents," Spokane Border Patrol Sector Chief Gloria Chavez said in a prepared statement. "Our CBP “state of the art” technology is a critical asset on the Northern border and played a pivotal role in the discovery, interdiction and seizure of this illicit contraband and the suspected perpetrators”.
Ecstasy and marijuana are often smuggled into the United States from Canada in exchange for cocaine. Last October, border agents found 310 pounds of Ecstasy worth more than $9.3 million near Curlew. No arrests have been made in that case.