Smugglersless than ecstatic now

Published on Thu, Jan 12, 2006 by ack Kintner

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Smugglers less than ecstatic now

By Jack Kintner

Nearly 12 pounds of ecstasy pills were seized at the truck crossing on the Pacific Highway early January 4. The drugs were found taped under the clothes of two 17-year-old Canadian boys, one from Coquitlam and the other from Surrey, who arrived at the border crossing at 2 p.m., according to information released from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

“The border inspectors weren’t tipped off ahead of time, it was just good work,” said CBP spokesman Mike Milne. “They were sent to secondary inspection where their car was searched but nothing was found.”

Inspectors then got supervisory approval for a pat-down and found over 20,000 pills in 19 small plastic packages, nine on one boy and 10 on the other. The two were arrested and taken into custody at the Whatcom County Jail.

According to the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s office, the U.S. federal court in Seattle does not prosecute juveniles for drug offenses, so the two face county charges and have been in custody since their arrest. At press time, they were to have been arraigned in juvenile court on January 11. Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Shannon Conner is in charge of the prosecution.

Ecstasy smuggling has been increasing in the past three years, Milne said. “In fiscal year 2004 (which ran from October 2003 through September 2004), there were nine seizures of ecstasy that together totaled 96 pounds at the five Whatcom County border crossings. The next year there were 16 seizures totaling 800 pounds. This is the first big one for fiscal 2006,” Milne said.

Milne attributes a decrease in the amount of high-grade “B.C. Bud” marijuana seized in part to federal actions aimed at the Bandidos and Hell’s Angels motorcycle clubs last year. “The trend is definitely toward more ecstasy and also ephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamines.”