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Canadian drug smuggler caught near Stuart Island sentenced to 10 years in U.S. prison

Ted Karl Faupel, a 51-year-old resident of Alberta, Canada was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Seattle on October 12, 2022 to 10 years in prison. He had been apprehended May 25, 2022  near the San Juan Islands attempting to smuggle nearly 1,432 pounds of methamphetamine from the U.S. into Canada.  

28 duffle bags containing 539 packages of meth found on 18-foot Bayliner Capri. Photos courtesy of DOJ 

“This huge load of methamphetamine represents hundreds of thousands of doses on the streets of Canada,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “We know violent criminal gangs get rich off the pain of addiction. I am glad this shipment is off the streets and not furthering addiction and the gang violence that is part and parcel of the drug trade.”

Officers with Customs and Border Patrol's Office of Field Operations, Air and Marine, encountered the 18’ Bayliner Capri speedboat near Stuart Island as it was headed towards Canada on May 25, 2022. The boat had Canadian registration numbers. OFO officers stopped the vessel to conduct a document check and to determine if the captain intended to go outbound to Canada. The officers noted that the speedboat was riding very low in the water.

Faupel told the OFO officers he had come from Cowichin Bay, BC and was heading to Sidney, BC. He said it wasn't his boat, but that he was moving it for a friend.

The OFO officers decided to board the Bayliner and conduct an outbound border search since Faupel came from Canada, and stated he was heading back to Canada.

Asked if he had any guns, Faupel said he did not. He also said he did not know what was in the duffle bags aboard the 18-foot Bayliner.

Under customs border search authority, an OFO Officer made a small cut in one of the duffle bags revealing the vacuum sealed bags contained crystal-like rocks consistent with methamphetamine.

Shrink-wrapped suspected crystal meth found inside duffle bags. Photos courtesy of DOJ

Faupel was taken into custody and the boat was taken to the Bellingham Coast Guard Station where a drug dog alerted to the presence of narcotics. Law enforcement seized 28 locked duffle bags loaded with 539 packages of highly pure methamphetamine. A loaded firearm was found in Faupel's backpack.

At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart noted that gang paraphernalia was found in the boat.

“You don’t start transporting drugs for (a violent street gang) if you fear for your family…. This is a very dangerous group and (Faupel) chose to gamble with his family’s safety.”

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations in coordination with U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, Office of Field Operations, and Border Patrol.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Watts Staniar.

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