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Canadian smuggler who used helicopters to deliver drugs sentenced

A Canadian man who ran what a prosecutor described as a drug-smuggling empire with leased helicopters has been sentenced to seven years in prison. Colin Martin spent much of the past decade fighting extradition to the United States following his 2009 indictment. The 46-year-old was finally brought to Seattle and pleaded guilty in March. He tearfully apologized to “the American people” in court Friday before U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik handed down the sentence.

Martin, of Malakwa, British Columbia, headed a drug ring that flew marijuana south into Washington state and exchanged it for cocaine, which was then flown north into Canada. One of his pilots, Sam Lindsay-Brown, hanged himself after flying into a law-enforcement trap in 2009, when federal agents met him when he landed in a remote clearing in northeastern Washington state.

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