Drugsmugglers busted at border

Published on Thu, Oct 27, 2005
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Drug smugglers busted at border

While inspecting a shipment of doors bound for California last week, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered 415 pounds of B.C. bud marijuana, with an estimated street value of $1.2 million.
During the October 18 inspection of the truck, inspectors at the Pacific Highway port of entry found shrink-wrapped bags of marijuana hidden in the center of some wood pallets. Border authorities seized the truck and trailer carrying the shipment, valued at $135,000, but did not make an arrest, handing the investigation off to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

CBP area port director Peg Fearon said the growing trend of marijuana seizures is part of the side effects of the agency beefing up border security since September 11. “Our strong anti-terrorism posture is also taking its toll on drug smuggling,” Fearon said. Mike Milne, the Seattle CBP public information officer, said the agency had more officers, more equipment, and better intelligence. “We have also through our cross-training programs made our officers better prepared,” he said.

Another marijuana seizure came two days later at the Sumas port of entry where CBP officers found hockey bags carrying 333 pounds of marijuana, valued at $1 million, in the nose section of a horse trailer. Paul Shedeger, 68, of Surrey B.C. was driving.

Erich Kreppenhoffer, 60, of Abbotsford, B.C. owner of the vehicle and trailer, met him at the port to meet a U.S.D.A veterinarian to import the horse in the trailer to the United States.

The two men were arrested after the marijuana was discovered and made their first appearance in U.S. District Court October 21 facing federal drug smuggling charges. The horse was returned to its owner in Canada.
An acquaintance of Kreppenhoffer who asked not to be named said the veteran horseman owned racehorses in Canada, the United States and Austria and “went across that border once or twice a week.” He was always generous, donating heavily to youth horsemanship activities and was “always traveling all over, making deals,” they said.

CBP inspectors started this week intercepting a shipment of cocaine headed north into Canada. “This is the bi-directional movement we are talking about,” Milne said. On the night of October 23 officers discovered 184 pounds of cocaine during an outbound inspection at the Lynden port of entry. Concealed in 79 plastic parcels concealed in the side-panels of a 15 passenger van, the cocaine has an estimated street value of $2 million. The driver of the vehicle, Chadrick Derbyshire, 33, of Abbotsford, B.C. will be prosecuted by the U.S. attorney’s office following an Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation.