U.S. speed trap nets $7 million in ecstasy pills

By Euphoric · May 22, 2009 · ·
  1. Euphoric
    [h1]U.S. speed trap nets $7 million in ecstasy pills[/h1]

    A Vancouver tow truck driver was nabbed near Sacramento, Calif., over the weekend, allegedly hauling more than $7 million worth of ecstasy pills.

    U.S. court documents say police also found $435,000 US in vacuum-sealed bags hidden in a secret compartment of the tow truck driven by B.C.'s Robert James Fox. The cash was in sequential $100 bills.

    Fox, 37, is now charged with importation of ecstasy, known as MDMA, as well as possession with intent to distribute it and "bulk cash smuggling." He was ordered detained in custody Tuesday.

    Speeding brought Fox to the attention of California Highway Patrol officer Lambert Montano last Saturday, the documents say.

    "While officer Montano was citing Fox, he observed several discrepancies under the bed of the truck that was indicative of containing a hidden department," U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent Bradford Bybee said in an affidavit.

    Bybee's drug dog found the stash of ecstasy in the truck, he said.

    Bybee said agents located 69 large double-wrapped plastic bags full of 390,000 tiny pills in rainbow colours weighing 225 pounds.

    Fox told U.S. agents that he did not know how the drugs and wads of cash got into his tow truck.

    He said he began working for Vancouver's Federal Towing Ltd. about a year and a half ago, but claimed he did not know who owned the company, nor who his boss is.

    "He said he does not remember who hired him," Bybee said.

    "Fox said he was paid regularly with a company [cheque] and he does know whose signature appears on the [cheque.]"

    Federal Towing is owned by Duke Johnson of Vancouver, according to the B.C. Corporate Registry.

    Records show Johnson incorporated the company in 2003 under the name "Just Fore Play Pleasure Crafts Ltd.", but then changed the name to the less racy "Federal Towing" in July 2007.

    No one from the company returned calls Wednesday.

    Both Johnson and the tow company have loans and leases on several vehicles, including a 2008 Peterbilt truck, property registry records show.

    "According to the vehicle registration, the declared principal operator of the vehicle is Fox," the U.S. affidavit said.

    Fox told U.S. agents he had driven to the United States 50 times over the last 18 months to pick up vehicles and boats at auctions and transport them to B.C.

    The ICE agents said the hidden compartment they located in the truck's chassis was very sophisticated "based on the wiring and electronic and hydraulic mechanisms attached to it."

    While Fox denied knowledge of it, inside a suitcase in the truck was a book on the engineering of the truck chassis, as well as a manual on wiring trucks, Bybee said. The suitcase appeared to belong to Fox, the agents said.

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    Read Kim Bolan's blog, the real scoop, at vancouversun.com

    By Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun May 21, 2009

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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Truck Driver Smuggles $435K, Ecstasy

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A Canadian tow truck driver who was stopped in Woodland pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy and bulk cash smuggling, according to spokeswoman Lauren Horwood.

    British Columbia resident Robert James Fox, 38, admitted to carrying more than 225 pounds of Ecstasy pills and $435,000 in U.S. currency in his truck when he was stopped May 16 for a traffic violation. Officials found the items in a hidden compartment.

    "Substances like Ecstasy not only pose a significant public safety risk, they also generate huge profits that are often funneled back into other types of illegal activity," said Daniel Lane, assistant special agent in charge for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Sacramento said.

    Fox hasn't been sentenced yet, but he faces a maximum prison term of 20 years, along with a maximum fine of $1 million for the drug charge and a maximum of five years and a fine of $250,000 for the cash smuggling charge, according to Horwood.

    POSTED: 11:48 am PST January 27, 2010

  2. dmtHELLA
    :( people who are in the process of breaking the law should be smart enough to follow traffic laws.

    Whats really sad is the government took his $450,000 and can now charge him $1.25 million more
  3. anonuser30500
    How many times do we see the baddies in movies carrying contraband, telling each other "keep to the speed limit"

    Even people buying £10 worth of drugs do that.

    Anyone carrying 7 million dollars worth of drugs who goes even one mile above the limit is a cops dream.

    Also, hidden compartments should pass any glance by a suspicious cop. It must have been a compartment that broke regulations. The person who built it never read the regulations. Anyone who inspects vehicles on a regular basis knows the chassis is standard on all. Something looked out of place and odd at a slight once over. Like carrying a suitcase through customs with some bag stitched on the side.

    Traffic cop must be reading his report and actually winking at himself in the mirror, practising his captains acceptance speech.
  4. Raoul duke420
    Swims elephant wonders how many of these stops yielding large loads of drugs and cash are for actual traffic infractions commited by the driver, or if some of these cases are really a result of snitches making deals and giving up info on shipments, then after the bust the piggies tell the press something like "he was speeding, brakelight out or whatever". Just a thought.
  5. Terrapinzflyer

    Therein lies the catch-22 for the runner though. Driving at or just below the speed limit, when the flow of traffic is 10++ mph over screams to a cop someones trying not to get pulled over, and unless your 94years old or driving a 69 VW Bus that can't do the speed limit, it raises all kinds of red flags to a cop.

    Plus, when one routinely breaks a law- they get comfortable with it...
  6. Terrapinzflyer
    Eight years a tough pill to swallow

    B.C. tow truck driver Robert Fox was sentenced to eight years in a U.S. prison Tuesday for attempting to distribute hundreds of thousands of made-in-Canada party pills in California.

    Fox was also ordered to forfeit the $435,000 he was carrying in sequentially numbered U.S. bills. Fox, who lived in Kamloops but drove for a Vancouver towing company, pleaded guilty in January to intent to distribute ecstasy and bulk cash smuggling.

    His luck ran out when he was caught in a routine traffic stop by the California Highway Patrol near Sacramento last May. The officer searched the truck and found a hidden compartment with over 225 lb. of ecstasy, the stimulant BZP and hundreds of thousands in U.S. currency.

    "This sentence serves as a stern warning about the consequences awaiting those who smuggle dangerous drugs," said Daniel Lane, assistant special agent in charge for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office of Investigations in Sacramento.

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