Posts tagged: cocaine
By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA (AP) - A veteran federal judge faces drug and firearms charges after an exotic dancer at an Atlanta strip club told authorities he used cocaine, marijuana and other illegal drugs with her.
Senior U.S. District Judge Jack T. Camp was arrested Friday minutes after he handed an undercover law enforcement agent $160 for cocaine and Roxycodone, a narcotic pain medication, that he intended to use with the exotic dancer, authorities said in a court document released Monday. They said they also found two firearms in the front seat of his vehicle.
Camp, 67, (pictured) who has presided over some high-profile cases, was released Monday on a $50,000 bond. His attorney, William Morrison, said after a brief hearing that the judge intends to plead not guilty. Morrison said Camp would probably take a leave of absence and would not preside over any more cases until the charges are resolved.
“This is really a case between Judge Camp and his wife,” said Morrison. “It’s not about Judge Camp being a judge. It’s about him being a husband.”
Camp’s arrest set up an unusual domino effect in the federal courthouse. The district’s federal judges all recused themselves, so Magistrate Judge Charles S. Coody of Alabama was brought in to hear the case. Federal prosecutors from Washington also flew in to handle the government’s arguments.
The charges against Camp were laid out in a shocking eight-page affidavit released after the emergency hearing was finished.
Camp met the confidential informant, who recently began cooperating with the FBI, at the Goldrush Showbar in Atlanta in early 2010 and he soon began paying her for sex and buying cocaine from her at $40 to $50 a pop, according to the records.
In June 2010, Camp followed the informant to a drug dealer in Marietta to buy Roxycodone. He was also recorded in a wiretapped telephone call on Sept. 28 talking with her about getting together over the weekend to split more pills and cocaine with her, according to the charges.
He showed up at a Publix parking lot in northeast Atlanta around 7:15 p.m. Friday to meet with the an undercover agent posing as the dealer. When the informant told her she was worried about his safety, the judge told her, “I not only have my little pistol, I’ve got my big pistol so, uh, we’ll take care of any problems that come up,” according to the affidavit.
He handed over $160 in cash to pay for the drugs around 7:35 p.m. Ten minutes later, authorities arrested the judge and seized the two guns from the front seat of his vehicle.
The judge faces four drug-related charges and one count of possessing firearms while illegally using drugs.
It’s a stunning turn for Camp, a Vietnam War veteran who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987. He is a former chief judge for the Northern District of Georgia.
Known for wearing suspenders around the courtroom, he handled hundreds of cases before taking senior status — and a lesser caseload — in 2008.
In 2004, he sentenced two men accused of killing DeKalb County Sheriff Derwin Brown to life in prison without parole. He also handled litigation from voting rights groups who sought to block Georgia from asking new voters to prove their identities and citizenship before casting their ballots.
The judge also handled several high-profile drug cases, including the May 2009 sentencing on prescription-related charges of the personal doctor to a professional wrestler who killed himself, his wife and their 7-year-old son.
Camp, wearing a pinstripe suit, said little during the brief hearing Monday but turned to flash a smile at his family after he walked in. He hired four defense attorneys over the weekend to represent him, and Morrison said his client was in “good spirits.”
“Judge Camp’s wife is an extraordinarily strong woman and she’s going to stand by her husband,” said Morrison. “And this is a very strong man. He’s going to overcome these circumstances.”
More than a 1 1/2 pounds of cocaine was seized last week in Grant County.
Investigators found the drugs, along with three guns, on Sept. 6 while searching two homes - one in Quincy and one in Moses Lake - and arresting four people, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday.
The first search in the 300 block of E Street NE in Quincy recovered about 18 ounces of cocaine. Investigators also seized a late-model BMW convertible and a 2002 Toyota Camry.
Another search in the 9000 block of Road H. 6 in Moses Lake seized more than eight ounces of cocaine, two semi-automatic handguns, a .22 caliber rifle and more than $10,000.
Two cousins charged in a gang-related mucrder are headed to prison on unrelated convictions.
Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton, 23, was sentenced to 63 months in prison on Friday for second-degree assault.
Eric “Smalls” Burton, Jr., 25, also was sentenced recently to 20 months in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to deliver.
Cedric Burton had been charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder for trying to run over two men in a downtown Spokane parking lot in November, but a jury convicted him of only assault, which is his second strike. A co-defendant, Charles Willy Jackson, is charged with second-degree assault, third-degree malicious mischief and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) after police say he shot out the back window of the men’s Hummer. His trial is set for September.
Eric Burton received the low-end of the standard sentence for his crack cocaine conviction, which stemmed from him having 26 baggies of the drug when Spokane police stopped him last summer.
Authorities have said he may face federal charges for allegedly possessing the gun used to kill John S. Williams on Jan. 17.
Both cousins have convictions related a 2005 gang murder, and both still are charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance in connection with Williams’ murder in January.
The accused triggerman, Edward “TD” Thomas, still is at large.
The 30-year veteran federal judge made it clear at the beginning of what turned out to be a 2 1/2 hour hearing: Jerry Carlson, school booster and Coeur d'Alene insurance giant, was going to prison.
“Probation is not an appropriate sentence,” U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush (left) said Monday. “What message would such a sentence send to the people of this community both young and old who have been misled by Mr. Carlson?”
Carlson appeared frustrated throughout the hearing, folding his arms over his chest and looking away.
At one point, Quackenbush scolded him.
“Might I suggest, Mr. Carlson, what the court has to say may be of some interest to you?” Quackenbush asked.
“Yeah,” Carlson replied, looking up.
Quackenbush sentenced Carlson to 27 months in federal prison for his role in an undercover cocaine sting that exposed his addiction to the community in February 2009. He could be released after about 13 months.
Quackenbush also ordered Carlson to serve four years on probation but declined to impose further forfeitures, besides $20,000 Carlson's already paid. The judge said further forfeiture would unfairly burden Carlson's family.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Nancy Cook said Carlson still has not accepted full responsibility for his role in the case, which she said began in late January or early February 2008 when Carlson bought a kilo of cocaine from Theodore Bruck, a former Bayview, Idaho, contractor now in federal prison for marijuana distribution.
Carlson admitted Monday that he split that kilo with a known dealer, someone Cook said had a large impact on the community. Carlson says Bruck set him up to buy the next kilo, which led to his arrest, by offering it to him for the exceptionally low price of $2,000.
Cook says he'd already given Bruck $19,000; Carlson says that cash was a loan for Bruck's construction business. When Carlson stopped lending Bruck money, Bruck found another way to Carlson’s wallet - his addiction or his “Achilles tendon.”
Carlson went to rehab for alcohol addiction several years ago but soon relapsed and was using cocaine occasionally. After he began dealing with Bruck, Carlson said he consumed more than two pounds of cocaine in two to three months.
“He was using as much as he could get his hands on,” said his lawyer, James Siebe. “Neither his family nor his clients knew he was back into the problem.”
Read much more from the sentencing in my full story: School booster in cocaine sting gets 27 months
One man was targeted by gunfire twice in 5 weeks. Another already faces an attempted murder charge for a June shooting. And several others are alleged to have sold large quantities of crack cocaine and methamphetamine throughout Spokane.
Those men were among 19 suspects arrested today as part of an 18-month drug and firearms investigation targeting Spokane-area gangs.
“That’s an indication of the pervasiveness of the gang problem,” said Frank Harrill, agent in charge at the Spokane office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Read the rest of my story here.
Above is video of the raids shot from a sheriff’s helicopter.
A Canadian man who smuggled cocaine into Eastern Washington will spend nearly five years in federal prison, a judge ruled today.
Michael B. Yuill, 37, received about three years less than federal prosecutor’s requested and two years more than his defense lawyer requested.
Yuill, of Salmon Arm, B.C., was arrested on Oct. 2 on the Colville Indian Reservation with 80 pounds of cocaine after Spokane International Airport police told federal agents that he’d rented several SUVs in the last four months and returned them with unusually high mileage.
Yuill said he was to trade the cocaine for marijuana in Omak, according to court documents. Prosecutors alleged he was actually responsible for distributing 10 times the amount of cocaine he had when arrested, which would have made him eligible for a sentence of 84 to 105 months. Yuill’s public defender, Kim Deater, called the claim “ridiculous” in court documents and asked for a 36-month sentence.
After about two hours of testimony this afternoon, Judge Wm. Fremming Nielsen sentenced Yuill to 57 months in prison, followed by five years probation, for one count of possession of five kilograms or more of cocaine.
Yuill, a father of two, pleaded guilty in February and had no previous criminal record. Yuill was described by Deater in court documents as “unsophisticated” and “a low-level mule” whose “simple yet full” life imploded when his marriage fell apart in 2007.
Still, he is a non-violent man described by his ex-wife “as a truly gentle soul,” loving father and valued member of his community.”
Yuill’s supporters, including White Lake, B.C., Fire Chief Bryan J. Griffin, wrote letters commending his character.
Yuill was a longtime volunteer with the White Lake Fire Department who helped with community parties and loved dressing up as Shrek for Halloween, according to a sentencing memorandum.
He bought a satellite business in 2003, but his poor business skills led to financial problems , and he moved to Salmon Arm to be closer to his children when his business was foreclosed upon. He took a job at an RV company and at a saloon, but he struggled financially.
After his arrest last October, Yuill told investigators he’d met a man named “Fugly” in Salmon Arm who gave him a BlackBerry device to use in drug running, according to prosecutors.
Yuill became Zebra and began communicating with “Nighthawker;” according to court documents. Yuill “surmised it could be Fugly, but he did not know for sure.” He was to receive $5,000 for the October trip.
Yuill said he’d been in the country three previous times but only to check construction work and cell coverage and, on one occasion, pick up marijuana.
Prosecutors said in court documents that Yuill claimed to have served as a decoy for a larger shipment of up to 300 kilograms of cocaine, and that such a shipment successfully reached Canada about the time of Yuill’s arrest. Yuill later denied making that claim.
A Spokane man accused of lying to police his knowledge of a fatal shooting in January faces at least 20 months in prison for a crack cocaine conviction when he’s sentenced later this summer.
Eric “Smalls” Burton, Jr., recently pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. He’s to be sentenced Aug. 9.
Burton had 26 baggies of crack cocaine when Spokane police stopped him last August. The officers knew Burton had a Department of Corrections warrant for his arrest, said Burton’s lawyer, Chris Phelps.
Phelps said the arrest was “ripe for pretrial suppression” because of issues with the police search, but “we have voluntarily declined to pursue those.” Phelps said the case had been sent to federal prosecutors, but they declined to pursue it unless Burton didn’t plead guilty as charged.
Burton’s standard sentencing range calls for 20 to 60 months; Deputy Prosecutor Eugene Cruz said last week he’ll recommending the low end.
Burton also is charged with first-degree rendering criminal assistance for allegedly lying to police about what he knew about the murder of John S. Williams on Jan. 17.
Burton was arrested the day of the murder after police found the Ruger mini-rifle used to kill Williams in a rental car Burton drove to the scene, but the first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm charge was dismissed in April because Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla said “there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution of this case until further investigation,” according to court documents.
The new rendering criminal assistance charge was filed against Burton early this month. He was arrested June 2 and posted $50,000 bail the next day.
His cousins, Cedric E. “Dirty” Burton and James C. Henderson, remain in jail on charges connected to the murder.
The accused triggerman, Edward “TD” Thomas, remains a fugitive, as do Marc A. “Bookie” Carter, John E. Burton, 27, and Christopher J. Route, 23.
Past coverage: June 3: Seven charged in January gang murder
Although a shooting in northeast Spokane on Thursday likely wasn’t gang-related, the Los Angeles man accused in the incident was arrested earlier this year in a crack cocaine investigation targeting several gangs.
Members of one of the gangs, the Atlantic Drive Compton Crips, were allegedly involved in a January fatal shooting – the only homicide in the city of Spokane so far this year.
Andrew T. Burns, 36, is in jail on an assault charge after witnesses told police he fired at least three shots at Kenneth R. Grooms, 40.
Read the rest of my story here.
A Coeur d’Alene man accused of leading a cocaine distribution ring for at least 10 years is believed to have obtained the drugs from a Kennewick man.
New documents filed in U.S. District Court allege Manuel Rivera supplied James Roy “Slim” O’Neill (left) with cocaine that O’Neill then sold out of Coeur d’Alene.
Both men remain in federal custody - Rivera in Bonner County and O’Neill in Kootenai County - after their lawyers waived bail hearings on Monday.
A third suspect, Chillers bar owner Chris McFarland, was released on several conditions, including that he not work at Chillers. McFarland was convicted in 1994 of possessing several ounces of cocaine in Utah.
The new documents show a confidential informant arrested in connection with the case had a GPS unit on his car as early as November 2009. Investigators said the GPS device showed he traveled to Pasco to meet with Rivera shortly before he was stopped with nearly 70 grams of cocaine in Idaho. That informant told investigators Rivera was O’Neill’s cocaine supplier and had recently provided black tar heroin to O’Neill.
Investigators put a GPS tracker on O’Neill’s Ford scape and pulled his phone records. Idaho State Police detectives even sent O’Neill’s trash to a forensic lab for resting - traces of cocaine often was detected.
The informant bought cocaine from Rivera on several occasions, according to court documents. Meanwhile, detectives were watching O’Neill and McFarland and observing what they believed were drug deals at Chillers.
O’Neill was arrested May 25 with his wife, Lecia O’Neill, after a raid at their home at 2202 N. 9th. Also arrested were Rivera, McFarland, Gary Votava, Steve McCabe and Debra Margraff.
Three other Coeur d’Alene residents face state charges in connection with the case: James Lunceford, Kelli Lunceford and Michael G. Wachholz, 36.
Wachholz’s charge relates to cocaine found at his home during a search by probation officers in March, according to documents filed in Kootenai County District Court. The Luncefords were arrested May 25 after a search at their home at 2200 Monte Vista Drive. Investigators found less than a gram of cocaine. All three are out of jail on bond.
For 20 years, federal agents allege, a Coeur d’Alene cocaine dealer went undetected by law enforcement, thanks in part to a tight-knit group of traffickers that included his friends and family.
But James Roy “Slim” O’Neill’s alleged criminal enterprise imploded Tuesday when he and six other suspects were arrested after a months-long drug investigation involving a Coeur d’Alene bar now targeted in a federal forfeiture.
A federal complaint filed Friday says O’Neill used proceeds from drug sales to finance an expensive lifestyle, including cars, recreational vehicles and annual trips to the Daytona 500 race in Florida.
O’Neill and his wife, 44-year-old Lecia D. O’Neill, were arrested Tuesday, as were Gary A. Votava, 51; Christopher B. McFarland, 48; Stephen J. McCabe, 51; and Debra L. Margraff, 48, all of Coeur d’Alene. Arrested in Kennewick was Manuel Rivera, 34.
Read the rest of my story here.
Pictured above: Top row, left to right: James O’Neill, Lecia O’Neill and Christopher McFarland. Bottom row, left to right: Stephen McCabe, Debra McGraff and Gary Votava.
The last of two drug smugglers arrested in Utah with cocaine bound for a young helicopter pilot in the Colville National Forest has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
Ross N. Legge, 54, (right) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine last week in U.S. District Court in Utah and was sentenced to 120 months in prison, followed by 60 months probation according to documents filed on Friday.
Legge and Leonard J. Ferris were arrested Feb. 21, 2009, near Ogden, Utah, after state troopers found 83 kilograms of cocaine in their car. The bust was part of the ongoing Operation Blade Runner drug investigation.
Ferris (left) was sentenced in December to six years in prison in a hearing that was closed to the public.
The men had a storage unit in Spokane Valley where they kept an ATV, trailer, and other items used in drug trafficking. They were driving from Las Vegas to Eastern Washington to trade the cocaine to Samuel Jackson Lindsay-Brown when they were arrested.
Brown (bottom right) was arrested after federal agents infiltrated the operation following Legge and Ferris’ arrests and caught Brown landing a helicopter with 400 pounds of marijuana. He committed suicide in Spokane County Jail on Feb. 27, 2009.
Ferris pleaded guilty about two months after his arrest, but Legge fought the charge. His guilty plea came after a federal judge rejected a motion to suppress evidence obtained through the search of the truck. Legge was driving the truck but Ferris gave troopers permission to search it because it belonged to him.
Authorities have described Legge and Ferris’ stop as a routine traffic stop, but the motion shows the men were stopped by a state trooper who had already pulled over another vehicle for speeding.
The trooper said he stopped the black Ford F-150 truck Legge and Ferris were in because it didn’t move to the left lane when they passed the trooper, who was stopped alongside the highway’s right lane.
Legge said he lived in Spokane, and he and Ferris gave conflicting stories about why they had traveled to Las Vegas, according to court documents.
U.S. District Court Judge Dee Benson rejected Legge’s motion to suppress on March 15.
Legge pleaded guilty and was sentenced on May 5.
Federal agents believe the drug ring was headed by four Canadian men, one of whom offered to cooperate if investigators let him continue his operation for a decade. Read more here.
Sentencing for a former Coeur d’Alene insurance agent who bought a kilo of cocaine in an undercover federal drug investigation has been postponed.
Jerald S. “Jerry” Carlson originally was to be sentenced Thursday, but a judge approved lawyer James Siebe’s request to move the hearing to July.
Carlson pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to deliver in a plea deal that dismissed two other felony cocaine charges.
Carlson, a once-prominent Coeur d’Alene High School booster, already paid $20,000 in forfeiture. Further punishment is still being discussed.
“Obviously under the guidelines he’s looking at hard prison,” Siebe said today.
But Siebe is arguing that Carlson’s case as extenuating circumstances that warrant a lighter sentence. He points to the price of the cocaine Carlson bought from a government informant - $2,000 for a kilo, “which they themselves claim was worth $20,000.”
“Obviously, anybody with a substance abuse problem is going to look at that and be tempted to do it,” Siebe said.
Siebe also points to Carlson’s lack of a criminal history and his record of community service.
Carlson was arrested in February 2009 after Theodore Bruck, a former Bayview contractor set to go to federal prison on a marijuana conviction sold him the cocaine.
Federal agents arrived at his insurance office in Hayden to find him trying to flush the drugs down the toilet.
A teenager will spend about five years in prison for a violent home invasion robbery last fall that targeted the mother of his alleged accomplice’s child.
Cocaine addiction drove Darius D. Toussiant, 18, to join a group of friends in a Nov. 16 attack that led to a SWAT team standoff at an apartment the next day, said his public defender, Kari Reardon.
Toussiant apologized for what he called “stupid mistakes” before being sentenced Tuesday to 66 months in prison.
“It’s painful to sentence someone your age to prison, but what you did was pretty bad, pretty horrifying,” said Spokane County Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno. Moreno approved a plea deal hatched by Reardon and Deputy Prosecutor Mark Cipolla that convicted Toussiant of first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and dismissed one count of first-degree robbery.
The sentence carries a three-year enhancement because a firearm was used. Moreno ordered Toussiant, a high school dropout, to earn his GED in prison and attend drug addiction counseling if available.
His father, Kent Toussiant, told Moreno he’ll be there to support the teen.
“I feel he is ready to rehabilitate and take a stronger path. It’s going to be up to him,” he said.
Toussiant and his accomplices burst into the East Mansfield Avenue apartment of Sara Mattingly in November looking for drugs that weren’t there, prosecutors said Tuesday.
They left with electronics after forcing Mattingly into a laundry closet at gunpoint as her young child slept, according to court documents. Detectives said Toussiant was “nicer” than his accomplices during the home invasion and urged them not to go into the child’s room, Reardon said.
Along with robbery and burglary charges, Jeremiah A. Smith, also known as Glen A. Akers, 20, also is accused of hitting Mattingly in the head with a handgun. He’s in jail awaiting trial.
Mattingly’s ex-boyfriend, 24-year-old Artez L. Woodard, whom she’d taken out a restraining order against a week earlier, also is in jail. A fourth suspect, 22-year-old Vatsana Moungkhoth, was sentenced to 22 months in prison Monday for conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery. Police say she drove Toussiant and Akers to Mattingly’s apartment.
A woman spending 27 years in federal prison on a crack cocaine conviction is the first person to seek a pardon from President Obama.
Federal law punishes crack cocaine convictions much more severely than powder cocaine, and Obama has asked Congress to change that. The Sentencing Commission has recommended the current 100:1 sentencing ratio be replaced with a 20:1 ratio.
The law was instituted in 1986, “when authorities feared crack was becoming an epidemic, (but the arguments) were based on faulty assumptions – including that crack users were far more violent and dangerous to the community than powdered-cocaine users,” according to this Associated Press article from April.
The disparity between federal crack laws and federal powder cocaine laws can be seen in the case of Terrence A. “T-Baby” Kinard, the man who caused a stir last November when a U.S. magistrate judge gave him permission to leave jail for Thanksgiving dinner, under the condition his family pay for armed guards. (As you can read here, Kinard’s family rejected the offer.)
Kinard (right) was convicted of possessing 28 grams of crack cocaine after buying it from an undercover detective. Kinard maintains in court documents filed in U.S. District Court in Spokane that he intended to buy powder cocaine, but police provided crack instead.
Police reports included in the federal court file show a confidential informant told police in summer 2008 that he could buy crack from Kinard. When the informant wasn’t able to do so, he told police he could sell powder cocaine to Kinard, and police had him arrange a sale for nine ounces of powder cocaine.
But Kinard never showed up for the buy, and when he called six weeks later, he ended up getting crack, not powder.
One report show the informant told police Kinard wanted “one ounce of cocaine.” In a different report, the detective says Kinard requested crack cocaine.
Had Kinard gotten powder, there would have been no mandatory minimum prison sentence.
“As stated above, from the detective’s own words it appears that he unilaterally made the decision to switch the controlled substance from powder to crack cocaine prior to the controlled buy. This not only served to increase Mr. Kinard’s sentence; it invoked a mandatory minimum,” according to the sentencing memorandum prepared by defense lawyer Kim Deater. “Mr. Kinard again reiterates that he is not innocent and he has pleaded guilty to the charge, however, the detective’s actions evidence reason for concern.”
Kinard is serving 80 months in federal prison. “He is motivated to live a clean and sober life because his addiction has been the root cause of his separation from his family,” according to the memo.
His sentence is barely anything compared to a sentence imposed on Hamedah Hasan, formerly known as Stephanie Lomax, the woman seeking a presidential pardon.
Read the Associated Press story by clicking the link below.
A Canadian man arrested with 38 kilos of cocaine last fall recently pleaded guilty to a federal cocaine charge.
Michael B. Yuill, 36, (left, dressed as Shrek for Halloween 2005 in a picture from his hometown paper, the Observer), pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine.
The charges carries a prison sentence of 10 years to life. No plea deal was accepted when Yuill pleaded guilty Feb. 2.
He’ll be sentenced May 3. Yuill, a father of two with no previous criminal record, was arrested Oct. 7 after employees at a Spokane International Airport rental agency told investigators he’d rented several SUVs and returned them after racking up unusually high mileage – some 3,000 miles apiece.
Yuill, a resident of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, a small community about 300 miles north of Spokane, was arrested after U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents spent two days tailing him throughout Eastern Washington.
A former Bayview contractor now serving time in federal prison for selling marijuana helped federal drug agents bust a once-prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster weeks before he was sentenced last year.
That insurance agent, Jerald S. “Jerry” Carlson, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to deliver in a plea deal that dismissed two other felony cocaine charges.
Carlson’s plea avoided a trial in which an acquaintance who sold him the cocaine that led to his arrest, Theodore L. Bruck, was scheduled to testify.
Idaho State Police detectives began investigating Bruck, 53, in 2005 after a man who claimed to work for him was arrested in Arizona with about 100 pounds of marijuana, according to court documents.
He pleaded guilty in October 2008 to charges related to the distribution of thousands of pound of marijuana from at least 2000 to April 2008 and is serving nearly 7 years in a federal prison in California.
Months before Bruck was ordered to prison, Carlson wrote a letter to a judge describing contracting work Bruck performed for Carlson over the years.
Carlson called Bruck, who had a previous federal marijuana conviction, “very reputable and trustworthy.”
Read the rest of my story in tomorrow’s Spokesman-Review.
A 27-year-old Hayden man will spend at least three years in prison for selling cocaine.
Logan M. Young was sentenced to eight years in prison on Wednesday, with eligibility for parole after three years, the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office announced today. He’s to pay a $10,000 fine.
Young pleaded guilty in November to trafficking 28 grams or more of cocaine. The conviction stemmed from May 2008, when he bought more than two hundred grams of cocaine from a confidential informant working with the North Idaho Regional Violent Crimes Task Force.
“The large quantity of cocaine delivered by Mr. Young, along with Mr. Young’s stated desire to continue trafficking cocaine in large quantities, justify the sentence imposed in this case,” Deputy Prosecutor Ann Wick said in a prepared statement. “We hope the sentence deters him and others from dealing drugs in our community.”
A reputed drug runner who leased the helicopter flown by the young man who committed suicide in Spokane County Jail has been indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
This came after Colin Martin reportedly tried negotiating U.S. protection for his smuggling ring in exchange for handing over his coconspirators.
Martin’s offer is detailed in the indictment filed Dec. 23, which led Canadian authorities to warn him of possible death threats.
It’s the latest development in the Operation Blade Runner drug bust, a multimillion-dollar international smuggling operation that used helicopters to distribute thousands of pounds of marijuana, cocaine and Ecstasy, landing in remote sites in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
The indictment shows co-conspirators apparently blamed Martin for the botched run by Samuel J. Lindsay-Brown (top right), allegedly sending Blackberry messages that said Martin “will be lucky if he is not dead.”
They reportedly wanted him to pay for the lost load, estimated to be worth $4 million to $5 million. That was back in February. Canadian authorities thought the guys might be a little ticked when public court documents filed last month detailed Martin’s alleged offer to tell U.S. drug agents all about them.
Read my latest story: Drug ring details emerge
Past coverage: A tale of drugs, money and helicopters
A Canadian citizen arrested in Eastern Washington with more than 80 pounds of cocaine will remain in federal custody, a judge ruled today.
Michael B. Yuill, 36, of Salmon Arm, B.C., has been in Spokane County Jail since his arrest on the Colville Indian Reservation Oct. 7. DEA agents found 38 kilos of cocaine in his rented Nissan Sport Utility Vehicle, according to federal court documents.
U.S Magistrate Cynthia Imbrogno said in a ruling filed this morning that there isn’t proof Yuill has a plan for his release that would ensure he’d appear for court dates. While Yuill is very close to his mother and has monthly contact with his brothers, Imbrogno noted that no family members attended his bail hearing Tuesday.
“Typically, if a defendant is a citizen from outside the United States, there is strong family support present at the bail hearing with reasonable assurances the family can assist with supervision and with facilitating an individual’s return for court dates,” Imbrogno wrote.
Yuill’s public defender said his employer at a Salmon Arm saloon can help with bond, but federal prosecutors say that man is being investigated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in connection to Yuill’s charges, according to Imbrogno’s ruling. (UPDATE: prosecutors say the investigation is NOT related to the cocaine bust.)
Federal agents began tracking Yuill, an electrician and father of two with no criminal record, after Spokane International Airport police said he’d rented several SUVs in the last four months and returned them with unusually high mileage.
Read my previous story here.
Spokane International Airport police suspected something was going on with the Canadian man they’d seen several times. In the last four months, he’d rented several SUVs and returned them after racking up unusually high mileage – some 3,000 miles apiece.
Based on that tip, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began tracking Michael Barry Yuill, a 36-year-old resident of Salmon Arm, British Columbia, a small community about 300 miles north of Spokane.
Now, Yuill is facing federal drug trafficking charges in what authorities are describing as a major Eastern Washington cocaine seizure.
Read the rest of my story here.
On a Facebook page for his small business, Yuill is described as being known in Salmon Arm “the guy that dresses up as Shrek every Halloween,” referring to the popular’s children’s movie. Check it out here.