News

Accused drug smuggler appeals extradition

By Tim Petruk,
Black Press

The Shuswap man believed by American authorities to be a cross-border drug kingpin has been granted bail pending the appeal of his extradition to Seattle.

Colin Hugh Martin was granted bail in Vancouver last week while his extradition is appealed.

In May, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled Martin should be sent to the U.S. to face charges for conspiracy to traffic in cocaine.

U.S. prosecutors allege Martin, who lives in Malakwa, ran a sophisticated, large-scale smuggling ring that saw millions of dollars worth of marijuana, cocaine, MDMA and firearms transported by helicopter between B.C. and remote locations in northern Idaho and Washington state.

Court heard Martin would hire people in B.C. to load the helicopters with as much as $5-million worth of marijuana or MDMA, then pay pilots to fly the choppers to pre-determined locations across the U.S.-Canada border. The haul of B.C. bud or pills would allegedly be unloaded by a ground crew in the U.S., and cocaine, firearms and money would be loaded into the helicopter for transport back to Canada.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency investigation into the operation resulted in multiple arrests on both sides of the border.

American prosecutors have charged Martin with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute.

They want him to stand trial in Seattle.

Martin was arrested after he was ordered extradited on May 9. He was granted bail largely because of the health of his wife, who has a heart condition, and her inability to care for the couple’s seven children.

Martin has been ordered to abide by a 10 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. curfew while on bail and will be forced to allow police to search his home at any time.

It’s not known when his appeal will be heard.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Mayes recounts shootout on Parliament Hill
 
Salmon Arm police officer not guilty
 
Teacher strike cheques in the mail
Federal budget hikes tobacco tax, sets up surplus
 
Haunted Halloween house helps the hungry
 
Teachers bristle at contract legislation
Feisty kitty a survivor
 
Prince Rupert students complete work on healing and reconciliation gift to government
 
Herman goes to Africa

Community Events, November 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 31 edition online now. Browse the archives.