51-year-old Alberta man who told investigators he feared for the safety of his family when he was caught smuggling 650 kilograms of methamphetamine into Canada on a speedboat from the San Juan Islands of Washington State was sentenced to 10 years in prison in the United States.
Ted Karl Faupel has been charged with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers stopped a 5.5-foot Bayliner Capri boat that was traveling low in the water between Stuart Island, Washington, and Vancouver Island around 10 a.m. May 25.
When authorities boarded the Canadian-registered vessel, Faupel identified himself as a resident of Cowichan Bay, B.C., and said he was heading for Sidney, B.C., according to a sworn affidavit. in a Seattle court by an agent of the United States Department of Homeland. Security shortly after the arrest.
Faupel first told customs officials he was moving the boat for a friend when he got lost and wandered off in US waters. He also told authorities he had no weapons on board and complied when asked to remove a canvas that hid the boat’s aft deck.
Officers found 28 duffel bags stacked on the deck and in the main cabin area, each secured with a padlock, according to the affidavit. Faupel told officers he did not know what was in the bags.
A statement this week from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western Washington says officers found 539 packets of “very pure” methamphetamine inside the bags.
Faupel had a loaded 9mm pistol and a box of ammunition in a handy backpack, according to court documents.
The backpack also contained a ledger “which documented details regarding this and other narcotics trafficking events”, according to court documents.
“Three cell phones and a single US dollar bill were also discovered bearing ’28 duffel bags’ and a signature,” according to the Homeland Security officer’s affidavit.
“Based on my training and experience, this is a verification method used by drug trafficking organizations to maintain security when transporting narcotics,” the officer said.
Once arrested, Faupel told investigators he was from Alberta and was in Victoria looking for a job.
He explained that he was walking around the marina in Sidney when he was approached by a man named “Mike” who offered him $1,000 to drive the boat from Sidney to Anacortes, Washington, and leave with his “baggage. “.
Faupel accepted the offer and “Mike” took a photo of Faupel’s ID before taking him to the speedboat, he said.
Faupel told investigators he left the Sidney Marina with the boat and arrived at the Washington State Park dock in Anacortes, Wash., later that day.
It was at the wharf that Faupel encountered four men in a black Toyota pickup truck towing a boat trailer. The men took him to the Anacortes hostel, where he was left alone overnight, according to the documents.
He left his room at 7 a.m. the next day and encountered three men towing the boat behind the Toyota. The four men returned to the dock where they launched the boat with Faupel at the helm bound for Vancouver Island.
“FEAR FOR THE SAFETY OF HIS FAMILY”
Investigators said Faupel denied any knowledge of the drug in police interviews and claimed he simply found the gun. He later admitted that the gun was his and that he carried it for his safety while hiking, according to the documents.
Faupel told officers that “after he left, he circled the boat and considered turning the boat over to the police,” the documents say. “But he didn’t because he feared for his family’s safety.”
The Alberta man reportedly told investigators he was told to leave the boat in Sidney when he returned and leave the dollar bill on the seat.
“This huge load of methamphetamine represents hundreds of thousands of doses on the streets of Canada,” U.S. Attorney Nick Brown said in a statement Tuesday.
“We know that violent criminal gangs get rich from the pain of addiction. I’m glad that this cargo is no longer on the streets and doesn’t foster the addiction and gang violence that is an integral part of drug trafficking. dope.”
During the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said gang paraphernalia was found on Faupel’s boat.
“You don’t start carrying drugs to [a violent street gang] if you fear for your family,” the judge wrote in a statement after the sentencing. “It’s a very dangerous group and [Faupel] chose to gamble with the safety of his family.”
Faupel was held at the SeaTac Federal Detention Center pending sentencing.