A North Vancouver man with connections to the Hells Angels will face at least 10 years in prison for his role in smuggling drugs between Canada and the United States.
James Postlethwaite, 60, was convicted in a Washington state courtroom last week of conspiracy to distribute marijuana - a charge that carries a minimum 10-year sentence because of the large amount of drugs being transported.
The group Postlethwaite was accused for working with was bringing in as much 450 to 900 kilograms of marijuana every month and returning to Canada with 100 to 200 kilograms of cocaine, according to a press release from U.S. attorney Jenny Durkan.
Postlethwaite made as many as 95 trips carrying hundreds of pounds of drugs belonging to the B.C. Hells Angels. The contraband was loaded into a sophisticated secret compartment in his transport truck's trailer. He had been in police custody in the U.S. since his arrest at the B.C.-Idaho border in March.
Several U.S. agencies including the Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force and Department of Homeland Security had been working on the investigation since 2010. A series of wiretaps revealed the location of a Seattle-area warehouse where Postlethwaite would deliver shipments of "BC Bud," the release stated.
It took a jury about 90 minutes of deliberation to convict Postlethwaite following the three-day trial, Durkan said.
Two dozen people in the U.S. and Canada have been charged in the case. Seven have already been sentenced to lengthy prison terms. Postlethwaite is scheduled to learn his full sentence on March 1 next year.
He is listed as owner of Strive Trucking on Westover Road.