Cdn pair arrested following marijuana drop
The Associated Press
Monday, March 27, 2006
OKANOGAN, Wash. - A man and a woman from Vancouver, B.C., have been arrested in the latest of at least four apparent marijuana deliveries by float plane, but the pilot and plane got away, authorities said.
Both Canadians, whose identities were not immediately released, were booked into the Okanogan County jail Thursday for investigation of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, Sheriff Frank Rogers said.
"We're running ourselves ragged,'' Rogers said. "It's like an epidemic up here. We're running from call to call.''
Investigators seized 147 kilograms of pot valued at $1.75 million Cdn after seeing a float plane land on Soap Lake, a small lake on the Colville Indian reserve rather than the larger and better known resort area north of Ephrata, said Sgt. Brad Wilson, commander of the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force.
The plane's registration numbers were covered and it took off and flew north before agents from the task force could get to the lake, but they did stop a rental vehicle and arrested the two Canadians, Wilson said.
The other marijuana deliveries by float planes have been reported in recent months, and law enforcement officials say there have been indications that drops also were made by float planes and other aircraft in areas too remote for investigators to reach quickly enough to catch anyone.
Kevin Haughton, 41, of Courtenay, B.C., was arrested March 15 on the Colville Indian reserve after he was spotted by tribal police who recognized him as matching the description of a float plane pilot who eluded capture a day earlier.
Haughton was charged last week in U.S. District Court in Spokane with possession of more than 100 kilograms of marijuana with intent to distribute, and faces five to 40 years in prison if convicted, government lawyers said.
ï¿½ The Associated Press 2006
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