Crime

Canadian caught with mobile meth lab at Lynden border sentenced to 1 year

A Canadian citizen who tried to drive through the Lynden border with a mobile meth lab has been sentenced to one year and a day in prison.

Calum James Buchanan, 41, pleaded guilty Feb. 26 to possession with intent to manufacture or deliver methamphetamine, according to documents filed in Whatcom County Superior Court.

Buchanan was arrested with another Canadian citizen, Lola Crystal McKay, after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found chemicals and supplies commonly used to cook methamphetamine in their 1994 Pontiac Grand Am on Nov. 23, 2014.

Buchanan told investigators that he had planned to deliver the mobile meth lab to someone in Canada, and he would have received $500 in return, according to charging documents.

They apparently got lost in ongoing construction near the border. A CBP officer searched their car and began vomiting when he opened a plastic bag inside a tote tub that contained unknown chemicals, charging papers said.

Bellingham police arrived with a robot equipped with a camera to help search the vehicle. Inside one of the tubs, the camera revealed two gas cans and a metal strainer covered with white residue, along with a “cloudy grayish liquid” in another container.

Buchanan had no prior criminal history in the U.S. He and McKay are from Chilliwack, B.C.

McKay, 24, failed to appear for a hearing Dec. 5, 2014. She is being charged with bail jumping on top of a charge of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine.

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