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Originally published June 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 6, 2008 at 4:46 PM

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Two Canadians arrested on charges of running massive cocaine and marijuana ring

After a three-year undercover operation, an indictment issued in Seattle accuses Robert Shannon, 38, of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Devron D. Quast, 38, of Abbotsford, B.C., of running a massive cocaine and marijuana ring for the Hells Angels.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A three-year undercover operation has resulted in the arrests of a pair of British Columbia men who federal prosecutors say ran a sophisticated drug distribution ring for the Hells Angels.

Over the course of the investigation, agents from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Drug Enforcement Administration and others seized more than 1,300 pounds of cocaine, 7,000 pounds of "B.C. Bud" marijuana and nearly $3.5 million in cash. In all, 38 people have been charged, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle.

An indictment issued in Seattle accuses Robert Shannon, 38, of Maple Ridge, B.C., and Devron D. Quast, 38, of Abbotsford, B.C., of running a massive cocaine and marijuana ring that has used everything from hollowed-out logs to backpackers crossing the rugged North Cascades to smuggle drugs into the U.S. Also named in the indictment were three Snohomish County residents and one Whatcom County resident.

The drugs were distributed in the "greater Snohomish County area and elsewhere in Western Washington," according to the indictment.

Shannon, the indictment says, was the "principal overseer of the North American narcotics transportation group" for the Hells Angels in Canada.

Quast, the general manager at an Abbotsford car dealership, worked with Shannon running the day-to-day operations of the drug ring, the indictment says. The operation was so sophisticated that Quast would offer marijuana growers insurance that their crop would make it to the U.S. for distribution. If the load was seized by law enforcement, he would pay them $425 for every pound of marijuana confiscated, according to court papers.

One alleged member of the organization, Rusty Boschee, was recently sentenced to five years in prison after he was arrested in Wyoming carrying $3.3 million in cash after delivering a load of marijuana to New York.

Shannon and Quast were arrested Thursday night in Ferndale, Whatcom County, after meeting with an undercover agent to discuss moving a load of drugs. Agents seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana and $50,000 cash, according to a news release. They will appear before a U.S. Magistrate later today in U.S. District Court in Seattle.

Seven others are named in the indictment:

• Phillip Stone, 45, of Abbotsford, accused of procuring containers and trailers to transport drugs.

• Richard Jansen, 33, of Chilliwack, B.C. Jansen is owner of Scorpion Transport Services. His trucks were used in smuggling activities, according to the indictment.

• Jesse Holmes, 64, of Blaine, allegedly provided a warehouse in Bellingham to store drug shipment.

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• Tomohisa Kawabata, 34, Vancouver, B.C., paid $3.3 million for a load of marijuana delivered to New York. The money was later seized by federal agents in Wyoming.

• Todd Gabriel, 41, Everett, is accused of delivering marijuana to Western Washington and California.

• Chance Gerrior, Arlington, allegedly allowed his property to be used to store marijuana.

• Korinne Doggett, Arlington, allegedly allowed marijuana to be stored in her home.

Mike Carter: 206-464-3706 or mcarter@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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