Feds: Man packed 80 pounds of ecstasy across border
Two men alleged to have been caught at the Canadian border with 80 pounds of ecstasy are facing federal drug charges.
On Wednesday evening, Border Patrol agents working near Sumas went to investigate remote sensor reports that appeared to show an illegal crossing. Arriving at the area, the criminal complaint alleges, agents found a minivan carrying two men, identified as Pablo Martinez-Magallanes and Benito Jarquin-Pacheco.
In the complaint, investigators claim Jarquin-Pacheco admitted to entering the country illegally. Both men denied ownership of a Mountain Equipment hiking backpack stowed in the rear of the vehicle.
A drug-sniffing dog brought to the scene alerted on the bag, according to the complaint. Agents then inspected the backpack and discovered 81.4 pounds of MDMA – ecstasy – pills, worth, according to the report, more than $2 million on the street.
Writing the court, investigators claim Martinez-Magallanes said he'd been paid $5,000 by a man who'd asked that he be prepared to pick up someone near the border.
Jarquin-Pacheco allegedly offered a similar description of the evening's events, saying he'd been picked up by two men in Abbotsford, driven to the border and paid to walk across with the 80-pound backpack. For his trouble, Jarquin-Pacheco is alleged to have said, he was paid $2,000.
Both men remain in federal custody. Each is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court at Seattle in coming days.
Posted by Levi Pulkkinen at May 14, 2010 10:55 a.m.
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