Alleged border drug-smuggling ring busted

June 6, 2008 at 12:45 PM
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SEATTLE, June 6 (UPI) -- Two Canadians alleged to be the ringleaders of a thriving drug-smuggling ring linked to the Hells Angels have been arrested in Washington state.

Robert Shannon, 38, Maple Ridge, British Columbia, and Devron Quast, 38, Abbotsford, British Columbia., were ordered to appear before a federal magistrate in Seattle Friday afternoon to face charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

Shannon allegedly headed up a smuggling operation that funneled large quantities of cocaine and "BC Bud" marijuana into the United States on behalf of the Hells Angels and other participants, the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle said in a written statement. Quast allegedly handled the day-to-day operations of the ring, officials said.

Prosecutors said the smugglers allegedly stashed their cargoes inside propane tankers, PCV pipes and in hollowed-out logs trucked into the United States.

The pair was arrested in Ferndale, Wash., Thursday during a meeting with an undercover agent. The bust netted hundreds of pounds of pot as well and culminated a three-year investigation that resulted in the seizure of nearly $3.5 million worth of drugs and 38 arrests of suspects from as far away as Iowa and Ontario.

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