Colin Martin committed for extradition

A Shuswap man alleged by American authorities to have been the kingpin of a cross-border drug-smuggling ring will be sent to the U.S.

  • May. 9, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Colin Martin outside the Kamloops Supreme Court

Tim Petruk/Kamloops This Week

A Shuswap man alleged by American authorities to have been the kingpin of a cross-border drug-smuggling ring will be sent to the U.S. to stand trial on conspiracy charges.

In B.C. Supreme Court in Kamloops on Friday, May 9, Colin Martin was committed for extradition to Seattle, where American prosecutors have charged him with conspiracy to traffic in marijuana, cocaine and MDMA.

There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period before surrender. Martin was taken into custody following Justice William Ehrcke’s decision, but he is eligible to apply for bail.

Martin’s lawyer, Eric Purtzki, said a decision on a potential appeal of the extradition order has not yet been made.

“I am satisfied that the evidence . . . discloses a case that would qualify for his committal to trial in Canada,” Ehrcke said in his decision. “I order that he be committed into custody to prepare for surrender.”

The two-day extradition hearing heard a summary of the evidence American authorities have on Martin, who is from Malakwa, and his alleged involvement in a large-scale drug-trafficking ring that saw marijuana and MDMA shipped by helicopter to remote locations in northern Idaho and Washington state in exchange for cocaine, money and firearms.

U.S. authorities allege 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.

According to federal Crown prosecutor Andrew Majawa, Martin’s crews made approximately three cross-border trips every two weeks.

The smuggling operation is linked to the February 2009 death of Samuel Lindsay-Brown.

The 24-year-old Nelson native was piloting one of the choppers linked to the smuggling ring and was arrested after landing with 400 pounds of marijuana in Washington state. He later hanged himself in a Spokane jail cell.

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

According to U.S. court documents, Martin offered in 2009 to make a deal with the DEA that would see him roll on other smugglers in exchange for the opportunity to continue his trafficking business unimpeded for 10 years.

Authorities said they did not accept his offer.

In March, Martin pleaded guilty in a Salmon Arm courtroom to unrelated charges of production of a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking dating back to 2010.

He is due back in court on May 29 to set a date for sentencing.

In 2006, Martin was sentenced to serve two-and-a-half years behind bars after being convicted of Canadian charges stemming from another cross-border drug-smuggling ring.

 

Just Posted

Missing: Elderly woman in Revelstoke

The missing female is Alice Lines, a long-time resident of Revelstoke. She was last seen at 8 pm Friday night when she left her home.

Voting Day: Here’s what you need to know

Voting stations are open until 8 p.m.

Kids have fun at the Mountain Harvest Festival

The Begbie View Elementary School gym was packed Friday night with Halloween activities

VIDEO TOUR: Eagle Pass Lodge recognized at Thompson Okanagan Kootenay Commercial Building Awards

Eagle Pass Heli Skiing’s lodge is located south of Revelstoke on Highway 23

Former Vernon man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Most Read