Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Colin Martin will face charges in the U.S. relating to a cross-border drug smuggling operation.

On Thursday, Dec. 14, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Martin’s application for leave to appeal a June 13 BC Court of Appeal decision upholding his surrender to U.S. authorities.

Martin is now back in custody awaiting extradition.

“I can confirm that Colin Martin turned himself into custody on Dec. 14 after his appeal was dismissed by the Supreme Court of Canada,” said Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil.

In May 2014, B.C. Supreme Court Justice William Ehrcke determined that Martin be extradited to the U.S. for “prosecution in relation to an alleged conspiracy to traffic cocaine, marijuana and MDMA or ecstasy,” referring to a drug-smuggling operation that allegedly took place between 2007 and 2009.

“Taking a ‘holistic approach’ and engaging in limited weighing of the evidence… I am satisfied that there is a sufficient body of evidence from which a properly instructed jury could reasonably infer that Mr. Martin was a member of a conspiracy to transport controlled substances across the U.S.-Canada border for distribution to other persons,” concluded Ehrcke.

U.S. court documents allege Martin provided helicopters to transport drugs across the border.

On Feb. 23, 2009, one of those helicopters, flown by Samuel Lindsay-Brown from Canada into Washington State, was intercepted by U.S. authorities. Brown was found carrying a load of 420 lbs of marijuana. He’d allegedly intended to deliver the marijuana and pick up 84 kilograms of cocaine which had already been seized by authorities. Brown was arrested and, the following month, the 24-year-old committed suicide in a Spokane County Jail prison cell.

Alleged co-conspirator Sean Doak was extradited to the U.S. in 2015. He pleaded guilty to a count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and, in 2016, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Another alleged co-conspirator, Adam Serrano, was sentenced in the U.S. to three years in prison.

In June 2017, Martin appealed the 2014 extradition decision before the B.C. Court of Appeal. Court documents say Martin argued the justice minister’s decision to surrender him to the U.S. for prosecution was unreasonable because “she erred in finding the requesting state’s ‘outing’ him as a would-be informant was not an abuse of process.” It also argued that his incarceration in the U.S. would affect his mental health and his Métis heritage was not considered as part of the ruling.

In their Oct. 13 decision to dismiss Martin’s extradition appeal, B.C. Court of Appeal justices Gail Dickson, Elizabeth Bennett and Chief Justice Robert Bauman determined the minister’s decision was not unreasonable and dismissed Martin’s appeal.

Dickson considered Martin’s arguments relating to abuse of process and “reasonably concluded this was not one of the ‘clearest of cases’ in which a stay of proceedings was warranted.”

“The United States provided information regarding solitary confinement, a reality in both countries’ prison systems, and programs to address mental health concerns. It also advised that Mr. Martin’s Métis heritage can be considered at sentencing and that there are measures in place at the facility in which he is expected to be housed to accommodate his aboriginal background,” Dickson wrote.

Martin has already served time relating to past drug-related charges. In 2007, he was found guilty for his involvement in another cross-border drug smuggling operation in the late 1990s. He was convicted on eight counts, including conspiring to export marijuana, conspiring to traffic marijuana, possession of proceeds of crime and two counts of laundering.

In November 2014, Martin was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to production of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking in Canada. The sentence stemmed from his 2010 arrest at a Malakwa residential property following a police search of an adjacent property where officers located an underground bunker containing around 3,000 marijuana plants.


@SalmonArm
lachlan@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Colin Martin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
52 positive COVID-19 cases now associated with LNG Canada site outbreak

Eight cases still active, 44 considered recovered

The Kitimat River in July. (Clare Rayment photo)
Good News, Kitimat!

Bringing some local good news to your week

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross has been named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy for the BC Liberals. (Peter Versteege photo)
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross named critic for Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Previously, Ross was the critic for LNG, Resource Opportunities, and Responsible Development

Red sky in morning: an early-morning sunrise on May 16, 2020, captured just north of Kitimat. (Eric Roy photo)
Clare’s Corner: Hello, darkness, my old friend

Why does the after-work darkness affect you so much more as an adult than as a child?

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

A man stands in the window of an upper floor condo in Vancouver on March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Change made to insurance for B.C. condo owners amid rising premiums

Council CEO Janet Sinclair says the change will mean less price volatility

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Tabor Home in Abbotsford. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak records 19 deaths, 147 cases

Tabor Home in Abbotsford has been battling outbreak since Nov. 4

Most Read