SEATTLE, WA – Seven members of a drug conspiracy with ties to the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment and probation today for their roles in trafficking thousands of pounds of B.C. Bud marijuana and cocaine across the U.S./Canada border. Jody York, 36, of Barriere, B.C. was sentenced to the longest prison term – 59 months – and was taken into custody on the spot. Edward Russell, 34, of Surrey, B.C., a dual U.S. and Canadian citizen was sentenced to 54 months in prison, three years of supervised release and a $10,000 fine. Russell too was taken into custody after sentencing. The men were described as managers in a drug organization that moved thousands of pounds of marijuana south into the U.S. hidden in PVC pipe, hallowed out logs, wood chips and hidden compartments in tractor trailer rigs. The leader of the conspiracy, Rob Shannon, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in March 2009.
Shannon and co-conspirator Devron Quast were arrested in June 2008, following a three year investigation that involved undercover officers and resulted in the seizure of more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine, 7,000 pounds of B.C. Bud and about $3.5 million. To date, 54 defendants have been charged in connection with the investigation, and 48 have been convicted. Twenty-eight Canadians have been charged in the conspiracy and 22 have pleaded guilty. The defendants sentenced today voluntarily traveled from Canada to accept responsibility for their criminal conduct. Their voluntary surrender is reflected in the government sentencing recommendations.
These other defendants were sentenced today:
Bryan Hanna, 28, from Vancouver, B.C. was sentenced to a year in prison.
Andrew Hall, 33, from Abbotsford, B.C. was sentenced to two years probation, a $5,000 fine and 120 hours of community service.
Darren Hotner, 42, of Abbotsford, B.C., was sentenced to two years of probation, a $5,000 fine and 120 hours of community service.
Brian Stone, 48, of Surrey, B.C. was sentenced to one year probation and 80 hours of community service.
Frederick Davey, 63, was sentenced to one year probation.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. This investigation was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force.