A Canadian drug-smuggling ringleader has pleaded guilty to conspiring to move cocaine and ecstasy across the border in a 2005 plan that undercover officers brought down in Whatcom County.
On Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, Kevin Donald Kerfoot, 53, of Surrey, B.C., admitted to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and ecstasy, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Kerfoot was indicted in July 2006, but fought extradition from Canada, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. After exhausting his appeals, he was finally extradited and arraigned in December 2016.
Kerfoot, according to court records, admitted to meeting with other men in September and October 2005 to plan the shipment of “hundreds of pounds of marijuana” from Canada to Washington state. The plans later changed to smuggling cocaine into Canada.
Court papers say Kerfoot directed one of his accomplices, Randall Canupp, to drive to Marysville and meet a woman who would give him 41 kilograms of cocaine – about 90 pounds. He then directed another man, Reginald Purdom, to travel by boat with about 17 pounds of ecstasy from Canada to Washington.
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Purdom docked the boat at Sandy Point, according to court records. The plan, records say, was for Canupp to take the cocaine to Purdom, then help deliver the ecstasy to distributors before Purdom took the cocaine by boat back to Canada.
A confidential informant told a Drug Enforcement Administration officer on Oct. 4, 2005, that Canupp would likely be driving a car loaded with cocaine toward Bellingham, according to court records. The informant said the load was intended to be smuggled into Canada. The officer asked for Washington State Patrol troopers to be on the lookout for Canupp in a white Toyota MR2.
A trooper saw Canupp driving north on Interstate 5 near Bellingham at about 8:20 that night, and began following, court records say. Canupp kept crossing the fog line, and the trooper pulled him over. A records check showed Canupp had a history of narcotics violations, so the trooper called for a dog to inspect the car.
When another trooper with a dog arrived, Canupp admitted to having the cocaine. Troopers found the bricks of cocaine inside the car, and arrested Canupp.
Canupp told officers of the plan, naming Purdom and a man he only identified as “Kevin,” court records say. A group of undercover officers went with Canupp to Sandy Point, met with Purdom and exchanged the cocaine and ecstasy. They arrested Purdom at the boat.
The officers, working with Canupp and Purdom, then met with two other men to deliver the ecstasy. Those men were also arrested.
Canupp, Purdom and the two men who briefly took possession of the ecstasy have finished serving their sentences, which ranged from about 3 years to 6 ½ years, the Attorney’s Office said.
Investigators later identified Kerfoot as the leader of the operation, and arrested him in July 2006, according to court documents. He faces a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison, the Attorney’s Office said.