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Inmate who hanged self had smuggled marijuana

Mon., March 2, 2009, 4:57 p.m.

A Canadian man who hanged himself in a Spokane County Jail cell Friday was there for delivering 350 pounds of marijuana to undercover DEA agents in northern Washington, federal authorities say.

Samuel Jackson Lindsay-Brown, 24, of Revelstoke, B.C., had been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, said Tom Rice, criminal chief assistant U.S. attorney.

Authorities say Lindsay-Brown delivered the drugs via helicopter to a prearranged, remote spot in the Colville National Forest. The DEA agents reportedly did not think the shipment would be delivered because of bad weather, but “the helicopter came through the rain, fog and darkness,” Rice said. Lindsay-Brown was arrested Feb. 23 as he unloaded the “B.C. bud,” Rice said. The Canadian man was alone.

B.C. bud – a potent variety of marijuana grown in British Columbia – is a multibillion-dollar industry in Canada, Rice said. The seizure of 350 pounds of the cannabis is about average for a DEA bust, he said.

The $1 million helicopter, which a Malakwa, B.C., man reported stolen to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has been seized by the DEA, authorities said.

Lindsay-Brown was not known to law enforcement, according to the RCMP in Revelstoke.

The 24-year-old’s suicide prompted a five-hour lockdown in the Spokane County Jail on Friday. The Spokane police major crimes unit was asked to investigate his death.

According to the autopsy, Lindsay-Brown died from strangulation due to hanging, said Spokane police Sgt. Joe Peterson. Lindsay-Brown, who was alone in the cell, “jammed” a bed sheet into a wall light fixture and hanged himself with the sheet, the detective said.

The last suicide at the jail occurred in February 2004 when an inmate used shoelaces to hang himself, said Spokane County sheriff’s Lt. Jay Hughes. In March 2006, an inmate attempted suicide by jumping off a second-story catwalk onto a mezzanine floor, he said.

Lindsay-Brown was not on a suicide watch, jail officials said.

“We removed their shoelaces. We removed their cable television,” said Spokane County sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Reagan. “But we can’t very well remove their linens.”

Contact Jody Lawrence-Turner at (509) 459-5593 or

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