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Surrey man handed 13 years in U.S. prison for masterminding cocaine smuggling ring

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Okanagan shooting connected to U.S. drug case?
WATCH: Okanagan shooting connected to US drug case? – Oct 11, 2016

The Surrey man behind a 2005 attempt to smuggle 41 kilograms of cocaine into Canada has been handed 13 years in prison for conspiracy to traffic cocaine and ecstasy.

Kevin Donald Kerfoot was indicted in July of 2006, nine months after his co-conspirators were arrested in Bellingham, after trying to move the cocaine up the I-5 and onto a boat for transport to Canada.

The person who was going to ferry the cocaine to Canada brought more than seven kilos of ecstasy into the U.S. for distribution via Kerfoot’s drug network, said U.S. prosecutors.

Kerfoot fought extradition from Canada for many years, but once that process was exhausted, he was transferred to court in Washington State and pleaded guilty in April.

As Kerfoot sought to evade extradition, one of the former members of his smuggling ring was shot eight times in his car in Kelowna.

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The man survived and told Canadian police that Kerfoot had ordered the hit, according to U.S. law enforcement. His alleged shooter is currently awaiting trial in Canada.

Court records in the case indicate Kerfoot’s smuggling operation fell apart when a tipster alerted police that a large volume of cocaine was being prepared for shipment across the border.

That led police to a vehicle in transit to Bellingham where police found the cocaine.

The driver, a boat captain in Bellingham, two other men who were to offload the ecstasy from Canada, and Kerfoot, who was running the operation, were all arrested.

The other members of the smuggling ring were sentenced to prison terms between three and six years.

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