Updated – May 24, 2012
Colin Martin was denied bail at his May 10 hearing and remains in custody. His next court appearance to set extradition hearing dates, or to hear preliminary matters, is May 30.
Malakwa’s Colin Martin was one of four men arrested last month on U.S. extradition warrants.
The Province reported last week that Martin, James Gregory Cameron, Sean Doak and Adam Christian Serrano were picked up by the RCMP for a court appearance. The four are facing charges in Washington State, where U.S. authorities first uncovered a cross-border drug smuggling ring that eventually lead to nine arrests and the seizure of marijuana, cocaine, firearms and helicopters.
A December 2009 indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Seattle names Martin, Cameron, Doak and Serrano as key players behind the operation, in which they allegedly flew marijuana and ecstasy to the U.S., in exchange for cocaine – up to 300 kilograms a week – which was smuggled back into Canada.
The indictment states between June 2008 and January 2009, Samuel Lindsay-Brown “flew loads of marijuana for Colin Hugh Martin into the United States,” using a leased helicopter. The lease was signed by Gorge Timber Corp. president, and Martin’s spouse, Jennifer Cahill. On Feb. 23, 2009, Brown was arrested in Washington after he was caught flying another helicopter leased by Gorge, a Bell 206, “loaded with 420 pounds of marijuana,” to be exchanged for 83 kilos of cocaine that had already been seized.
On Feb. 27, Brown, 24, hung himself in a Spokane jail cell.
Martin, who has served a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for an earlier marijuana exportation conviction, had been out on bail, awaiting another Canadian court date set for March 2013. He, Cahill, and Jason Airey are charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, production of a controlled substance and theft of telecommunication service, following a July 2010 police raid at Martin’s Malakwa residence, and an adjacent workshop. Investigating officers uncovered an underground bunker that contained approximately 3,000 marijuana plants.
In a 2010 interview with EVN, Martin denied any involvement in the operation involving Doak and the others, or ever having met Doak. Martin said he did know Sam Brown, however, and tried to advise him on the dangers of the drug business.
“I said Sam, I’m aware of a couple things that you’ve done that I think are wrong… I’m just telling you now from experience that if you keep doing that, you’re going to have problems,” said Martin.
Martin remains in custody. A bail hearing relating to the extradition process was adjourned last week to Thursday, May 10.