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More Helicopter Drug Smuggling!

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I took my motorcycle out to Keremeous in the similkameen last night, we stopped for some food at a little restraunt where some locals invited us to sit with them as all the tables were taken. After talking about some pretty random stuff for a while, including the helicopter school out of penticton, and how they used the area to train, then the lady mentioned seeing a "large green helicopter with big tank looking things hanging off the doors" (im guessing UH-60 with the long range tanks) following another helicopter one day.

 

Theyre still out there.

 

BTW, did anything ever come outta the original 2 on the Penticton Reserve... last I heard they were given back to the original owners due to lack of evidence.

 

Talked to another Private FW pilot that mentioned seeing a plane that looked totally mothballed with its tail number taped over, and some sort of homemade tank inside at a small airstrip somewhere in the rocks, he said it was reported as soon as he landed back near a phone.

 

Guess Ill stop rambling now.

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helicoper :lol: they get the award for sure

 

what a buffoon , i guess snorting that #### really makes you bold :blink:

thats why they call it " dummy dust "

 

according to a story i read in the local victoria rag is that mr haugen is

still the main suspect in that 206 rollover last year that killed a 22 yr old

girl onboard. They claim that girl was Haugen's girlfriend but he still denies

being pic that day . ;)

 

all just a big coinsidence i guess :shock: :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fly Safe

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From PentictonHerald.ca

 

Aerial drug smugglers believed to be 'wiped out'

By Don Plant

Sunday, July 2, 2006, 12:01 AM

 

Canadian and U.S. authorities have grounded a massive aerial smuggling operation and taken a major dent out of the cross-border drug trade, says an industry insider.

 

RCMP and American immigration officials announced last week they made 46 arrests in connection with crime networks that used helicopters to transport marijuana and cocaine across the B.C.-Washington border. According to a source with inside knowledge of the industry, authorities have dismantled all aerial smuggling groups in the province.

 

“There weren’t that many to begin with, and they’re all gone now,” said the source, who requested anonymity. “I’d say they’ve been wiped out. That will have an effect on B.C.’s economy because less pot will go south.”

 

The joint investigation, called Frozen Timber, started in late 2004 and culminated with the arrests of 40 people in the United States and six in Canada. Officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) seized nearly four tonnes of marijuana, 360 kilograms of cocaine, three aircraft and $1.5 million in U.S. currency.

 

RCMP and ICE officials concentrated on vast wilderness areas in Washington, where they videotaped helicopters as they unloaded their contraband on pre-arranged drop sites near Mt. Baker, in North Cascades National Park and in the Okanogan National Forest southwest of Osoyoos.

 

Police gathered intelligence that pointed to “lots of customers,” said RCMP Insp. Dan Malo, who oversaw the Canadian part of the investigation.

 

Officers learned organized-crime groups were using unlicensed, inexperienced pilots who were largely self-taught, he said. Crime groups had bought helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft at “significantly reduced prices” because they were old and needed servicing.

 

“The pilots were acting as brokers to facilitate movement of illegal contraband back and forth,” Malo said in an interview. “We’ve attributed to organized crime two aircraft crashes that resulted in the deaths of three people in B.C. . . . over the last 13 months.”

 

Considering the loads some of the helicopters were carrying, it’s astonishing they could even fly, said the industry insider, whom we’ll call Sean. He can’t imagine how a licensed pilot could do it, let alone an inexperienced one without a licence.

“It’s amazing they weren’t all killed,” he said.

 

“These guys found the stupidest, cheapest guys they could who could barely take off in a helicopter and land it,” Sean said. “It’s all coming home to roost now.”

 

RCMP allege the Breakwater Restaurant in Harrison Hot Springs was the focal point of a smuggling network that used a helicopter to transport drugs into Washington. Restaurant owner Daryl Gilles Desjardins, 44, and Dustin Melvin Haugen, 24, were arrested after a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter completed a run across the line and landed in the Harrison Lake area on May 9.

 

Police tracked the helicopter to a landing site in a state wildlife area in Okanogan County. After watching the cargo being transferred to a waiting pickup, agents stopped the vehicle, arrested two men inside and recovered 148 kilograms of marijuana. When the helicopter arrived back in B.C., the RCMP arrested the two alleged pilots, Desjardins and Haugen.

 

Both men are charged with importing a controlled substance and trafficking. Desjardins is also charged with possessing at least eight firearms.

Smugglers continue to cross the border at ports of entry with contraband in vehicles, trucks and containers, Malo said. They recently tried to run pot across the border after digging an elaborate tunnel in Langley.

 

Malo said organized-crime groups were behind the aerial smuggling. He wouldn’t deny the Hells Angels are among them. They cross all parts of the border, including the section between Osoyoos and Midway. They usually transport marijuana south and bring cocaine, cash and firearms north, Malo said.

“We’ve had a significant impact on the criminal groups identified. I expect (activity) to diminish. We’ve been successful in dismantling several of these air smuggling groups,” Malo said.

 

Many of the 46 people charged are not “organized-crime types,” such as bikers or members of the Mafia, said Sean. They may be criminals and organized, but, from what he’s heard, they’re “appallingly disorganized.”

 

In fact, most pot growers and distributors in the Interior are not criminal or violent, he said. They prefer remote areas where they can build hidden bunkers or outdoor structures where they grow marijuana with 50 to 200 lights. Each light nurtures up to a kilogram of salable bud.

 

Kelowna, however, is much more “hyperactive,” he said.

“There’s much more of a criminal element — gunslingers and bikers, although bikers are a small part of pot growing in B.C.,” he said.

 

Sean estimates almost two-thirds of B.C. bud is grown outside the Lower Mainland. One knowledgeable insider told him in early 2005 that about 4,500 kilograms of pot was leaving the Lower Mainland for the U.S. by truck every week; another 2,700 pounds a week were airlifted across the line.

 

Smugglers in the Kootenays, where there’s little organized crime, simply fill their backpacks with 14 to 18 kilograms of bud and walk across the border, Sean said. Each pound of top-grade pot can fetch about $2,300 US. In Los Angeles, that pound sells for $3,200 US, he said.

 

Some use the proceeds to buy cocaine and bring it back so they don’t have to launder U.S. cash in Canada, Sean said. Before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001, as many as 1,500 people were ferrying drugs across the B.C. border. Paranoia about heightened security since then has brought the number of smugglers down to about 50 individuals or groups, he said.

 

“Air smuggling accounted for 40 per cent of pot smuggling from B.C. in 2005. Now, with these arrests, it’s down to two per cent.”

 

© Copyright by PentictonHerald.ca

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can you spell "vacuum"!!??

 

what's all this bullzhit about bikers being involved in this nefarious navigation of ill-gotten booty??... a bunch of the boys from bc were in windsor a coupla weeks back and they were tellin' us they were just gettin' together to improve their golf game!!

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Practicing "golf" in Windsor...yeah right.... B)

 

 

He was just checkin out the "greens".

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That 120 was hangered in Langley not too long ago, back when I worked there anyways. It is painted with 'Dupont Chrome Illusion' paint, at $850/pint. It changes colour as the angle it is viewed at changes...

I am going to paint my field box with that stuff...

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