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Registered: 07/26/04
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$5m ecstasy bust at border [WA]
    #4297982 - 06/15/05 04:20 AM (13 years, 11 days ago)

$5m ecstasy bust at border
June 15, 2005 - canada.com

167,000 pills found in truck at Lynden, WA crossing

Two Vancouver residents are in an American jail today after they allegedly tried to smuggle 167,000 pills of ecstasy into the U.S.

Richard Godin, 29, and Ashley Sabeski, 21, could each face 20 years in prison if convicted.

Sabeski's lawyer, Alison Holcomb, told The Province yesterday that her client is terrified.

"She's very upset, scared and confused. This has been a horrific, horrific experience for her," Holcomb said from Seattle.

The seized pills, worth up to $5 million US, were allegedly found in the box liner of their truck as the pair tried to cross the border at Lynden, Wash., on Monday.

Dave Sabeski, Ashley's father, was shocked.

"That's scary stuff. I don't think she'd be involved," he said from the family home in Kenora, Ont.

Sabeski said his daughter moved to Vancouver about 10 months ago and was having difficulty finding work. He recently sent her some cash.

According to court documents, U.S. border officer Thomas Barnes thought Godin was acting "nervous" and decided to search the pickup truck.

After he knocked on the brand-new box liner in the back of the truck, Barnes noticed it felt solid, like something was behind it. Another officer pulled the liner back and found 46 bags -- more than 52 kilograms -- stuffed with pills, which on-site testing showed was ecstasy, the documents state.

Godin told investigators that his landlord, identified in the documents as S.M., owned the truck and was paying him $12,500 to smuggle the pills to Atlanta, Ga., where $500,000 US was waiting to be picked up.

According to the documents, Godin told customs agents that Sabeski was in on the plan and that she would be paid $1,500.

The documents claim that Godin admitted he had smuggled drugs before, swapping cash for ecstasy in May.

Sabeski, however, maintained her innocence.

She told agents that Godin told her "he was taking her on a shopping spree," and that she "did not know" where the truck was headed.

The pair will appear in federal court tomorrow for a detention hearing.

Sabeski's elder sister, Amanda, said she was concerned about how her little sister was paying her bills.

"I asked her several times, but I never truly got an answer. Without a job, you're living out of a pack-sack," she said from her home in Squamish.

Amanda said she didn't hear from her sister very much.

"In the past few years, everything has seemed to just basically drift apart," she said.

Amanda said she met Godin last year and described him as a father of two and a "really nice guy."

"I don't believe Rick would do something like that. Not with two children at home."

Edited by veggie (06/16/05 08:13 PM)

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