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Wednesday, November 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Idaho

Ketchum Drug Smuggler Gets 12-Year Sentence He Also Must Forfeit More Than $3 Million In Assets For Role In International Conspiracy

By Associated Press

A Ketchum, Idaho, man has been sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for his role in an international drug smuggling conspiracy.

Raymond A. Whelan, 49, also was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge on Monday to seven years in prison on each of four charges related to money laundering, U.S. Attorney Betty Richardson said.

In addition, Whelan forfeited more than $3 million in assets, including bank accounts, his home and a vacant lot in the Ketchum area and investments in businesses throughout the country.

Richardson said about $1.8 million of Whelan’s assets were found in Swiss bank accounts. The money will be returned to the United States and forfeited to the government, she said.

Whelan was arrested in December 1993 after a lengthy investigation. Richardson said it revealed his involvement in smuggling and distributing large amounts of marijuana in the 1970s and 1980s.

Related investigations in the Sun Valley area have led federal investigators to Hong Kong, Fiji, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Bali and Thailand. Investigations so far have resulted in the convictions of six others and the forfeiture of millions of dollars in assets, Richardson said.

Most recently, two brothers with Idaho ties were arrested last month in Hawaii and Bali, Indonesia, on drug smuggling and money laundering charges.

Paul E. Miller, 41, of Haiku, Maui, was arrested in Hawaii and his brother Michael, 48, of Haleiwa, Oahu, was taken into custody by Indonesian police in Bali. Both will be returned to Idaho to stand trial.

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