Feds seize 250 pounds of cocaine near Birch Point
By Jack Kintner
Two Canadians were arrested early on the morning of Friday, December 12 at Birch Point while attempting to load five 50-pound sacks of cocaine on to a jet ski, presumably to smuggle it into British Columbia, Canada.
Officers with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) spotted Dhymitruy Bouryiotis moving bags from a house at 8277 Semiahmoo Drive down to the beach about 1:30 a.m. Friday morning.
An hour later Montgomery Read Hill was seen approaching the beach at high speed on a jet ski.
ICE agents moved in, found the bags on the beach and arrested the two men. A white powdery substance in the bags tested positive for cocaine.
Bouryiotis, 48, and Hill, 36, made their first appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle that afternoon on a complaint of cocaine trafficking.
The two were remanded into custody and five days later were indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts, conspiracy to distribute and export cocaine; possession with intent to sell or distribute cocaine and attempted exportation of cocaine.
According to spokesperson Emily Langlie of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle, the two face a mandatory ten years in prison and fines up to $150,000 plus forfeiture of the lot and house on Semiahmoo Drive.
“We’ve worked closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and also with our integrated border enforcement team and the border enforcement security task force (BEST), a coalition of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, to do all this. The smugglers are getting more creative but so is our team,” Langlie said.
In addition to ICE, other agencies involved in the interdiction included U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Air & Marine Operations in Bellingham, the Blaine Sector of (CBP) Border Patrol, CBP Office of Field Operations, the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service, the U.S. Coast Guard Bellingham Station, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Whatcom County Sheriff and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.