Drug smuggling trial in U.S. delayed

Chilliwack man was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at Aldergrove crossing

There has been a delay in the trial of a Chilliwack man accused of trying to smuggle a meth-lab-in-a-box across the Aldergrove border crossing last November.

The trial of Calum James Buchanan was supposed to begin in Washington state this month, but a judge ordered it postponed until March to allow more time for forensic tests on the chemicals discovered inside a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am on Nov. 23 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

Court documents posted online show the trial is now set to begin March 9, when the crime lab analysis of the chemicals should be complete.

It appears Buchanan’s co-accused, fellow Chilliwack resident Lola Crystal McKay, has not returned to the U.S. to answer the charges against her.

A warrant for her arrest on one count of bail jumping remains in effect.

McKay and Buchanan were arrested at the Aldergrove crossing after a U.S. customs officer became nauseated and vomited from the fumes in some plastic wrapped storage containers in the car.

The crossing was shut down in both directions for about an hour while a hazmat team removed the chemicals.

The officer, who was transported to hospital, made a full recovery.

Both have been charged with possession of meth chemicals with intent to manufacture, a crime that could mean a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000 U.S.