A quick update on this story.
Colin Martin was sentenced to 2 years for basically running a multi-million dollar smuggling ring. He was the guy who owned the choppers, etc.
Still fighting his extradition to the U.S. on drug charges, Colin Martin has pleaded guilty to production of marijuana for the purposes of trafficking in Canada.
And he was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for the sophisticated pot operation he ran in Malakwa.
Federal Crown Sharon Steele wanted him sentenced to five years on the Canadian charges, with no credit for the time he has served after being arrested on an extradition warrant.
His lawyer requested a term of time served, despite the fact he was in custody after being arrested on an extradition warrant.
Martin has been a controversial figure for years (and used to comment on the Real Scoop on occasion.)
While out on bail in an earlier drug case, he set up the sophisticated grow-op on his Malakwa property, near Sicamous.
At the time, police said they found 3,000 pot plants in a sophisticated underground bunker on a property on Northway Road.
Mountie Chris Newel said in July 2010 that the grow-up was hidden under a 7,000 square foot workshop and that the growing room was accessible only through a steel door raised with a hydraulic cylinder.
This steel door was part of an elaborate electrical system, which was utilized to camouflage the actual entry. Steel platforms sitting about six inches off the floor contained eight `add a phase electrical motors, Newel said .When a switch was activated one of the steel platforms and five of the motors lifted up, revealing the entry. Add a phase motors are used to convert single phase electricity to three phase and are usually only found in industrial applications.
On the U.S. indictment Martin is charged with conspiring to import large amounts of marijuana and ecstasy into the U.S. and smuggle cocaine back into Canada using helicopters.
The U.S. says Martin headed the drug gang and sent helicopters he leased for his company, Gorge Timber, full of drugs to remote landing sites in Washington and Idaho. They are alleged to have smuggled back into B.C. as much as 300 kilos a week of cocaine.
One of the B.C. pilots caught in the U.S., Sam Brown, hanged himself in a Spokane jail after being arrested in February 2009. He was flying a helicopter leased by Martins company.
And another pilot caught in the case, Jeremy Daniel Snow, was shot to death in Kelowna last year. He earlier pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 46 months in jail, but allowed to transfer to a Canadian prison in 2011