A Canadian truck driver was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday, May 7, in connection with a drug smuggling investigation that also netted a Custer man.
James Postlethwaite, 60, of North Vancouver, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle for conspiracy to distribute marijuana for his role as a transporter for a criminal organization smuggling marijuana south into the U.S. and cocaine north into Canada.
An Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force investigation into the drug ring began in May 2010 and determined that the ring was transporting and distributing 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana and 220 to 440 pounds of cocaine every month, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Two dozen people in the U.S. and Canada have been charged in connection with the ring, including 52-year-old Custer resident Glen Stewart, who acted as a drug courier. He was arrested in 2011 after picking up a car containing more than 230 pounds of artificial cocaine - switched for the real drugs as part of the investigation - in Lynnwood and driving it up to his home in Custer, according to court documents. He then stored it in outbuildings to be picked up by other ring members.
A jury found Stewart guilty of attempted possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to distribute drugs. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison in November 2012.
Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or email@example.com.