A man from Alberta is facing lengthy prison time for attempting to smuggle nearly 650 kilograms of methamphetamine from the United States into Canada by way of Sidney.
Ted Karl Faupel was sentenced to 10 years in U.S. federal prison on Tuesday (Oct. 11), after pleading guilty to counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
On May 25, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested Faupel just south of Stuart Island, Wash. near the international border with Canada.
CBP agents stopped a Bayliner Capri recreational boat operated by Faupel as he was travelling westbound across the Haro Strait, approaching Canadian waters near Sidney.
Authorities also noticed that the small vessel appeared to be “riding extremely low in the water like it was overloaded,” Jeffrey Gibbons, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent, stated in the criminal complaint.
While conducting an outbound border search, customs officers discovered duffle bags with padlocks containing vacuum-sealed packages packed with crystal-like rocks consistent with methamphetamine.
Faupel was taken into custody and transported to the Bellingham Coast Guard station where he was turned over to HSI for further investigation.
Authorities ultimately unloaded a total of 28 duffle bags containing over 500 packages of methamphetamine as well as a loaded 9mm handgun and box of ammunition, which Faupel initially denied knowing anything about.
“The judge noted that this was the second largest amount of illicit drugs that he had had in a case,” Emily Langlie, spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Washington, told Black Press Media.
During an interview with investigators, Faupel stated he had been approached and hired by an individual he identified as Mike for a sum of $1,000 to drive the five-and-a-half metre Bayliner Capri from Sidney to Anacortes, Wash. and back to Sidney in order to transport Mike’s luggage.
Because Faupel is a Canadian citizen, he’s eligible to apply for treaty transfer, which would allow him to serve his sentence closer to home, said Langlie. “There was some discussion at sentencing, that should he apply for and be granted treaty transfer, then the Canadian system may not keep him incarcerated for that 10 years,” she said. “They are not required to do that.”
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