Mercer Island man sentenced for drug smuggling
A 28-year-old Mercer Island man who built a secret compartment in his SUV to smuggle drugs across the border has been sentenced to five years in federal prison.
Prosecutors say James DeShawn Riggins was caught last April with 60 pounds of the hallucinogen BZP -- which is similar to Ecstacy. U.S. District Judge Richard Jones said the drugs were targeted at youngsters.
His 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche was customized with a secret compartment accessible only by punching in a secret code on the vehicle's seat controls. More than 100,000 tablets of the drug were found in the compartment when he was stopped at the Canadian-U.S. border at Blaine.
Records showed he had traveled across the border in that truck 22 times in the first four months of 2009, according to court documents.
Posted by John de Leon
-- From Times staff reporter Mike Carter:
January 22, 2010 at 5:25 PM