Police seized more than 55 kilograms of cocaine, 47 kilograms of methamphetamine, one kilogram of heroin, 15 firearms, $150,000 in cash and a large-capacity magazine from a Saanich home. They also seized two high-speed boats. (Kat Slepian/Black Press Media)

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

A Saanich man pleaded guilty to four out of 11 charges following a six-month joint Canada-U.S. investigation that saw dozens of kilos of narcotics and weapons seized.

William Milton Barnes, 51, entered his plea — for three counts of importing a controlled substance and one count relating to the possession of a prohibited large-capacity magazine — in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Tuesday.

Barnes, along with Gary Horton of Washington State, were charged in April 2018 with a number of drug-trafficking and firearms-related charges.

RELATED: Saanich man arrested in cross-border drug smuggling operation

Officials intercepted a shipment coming by boat from the U.S. into Canada near the U.S. San Juan Islands off the south coast of Vancouver Island.

“Large bags were transferred from one vessel to the other. When the boat returned to Victoria, officers detained Mr. Barnes under the Customs Act and located bricks of what appeared to be illegal narcotics,” said federal RCMP Chief Supt. Keith Finn, at a press conference in Surrey back in April 2018.

Police then searched Barnes’ Saanich home and seized more than 55 kilograms of cocaine, 47 kilograms of methamphetamine, one kilogram of heroin, 15 firearms, $150,000 in cash, and a large-capacity magazine. They also seized two high-speed boats.

RELATED: Case for accused Saanich drug smuggler pushed to Supreme Court of B.C.

U.S. border security officials intercepted the U.S. vessel as it headed back towards Washington State.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) then interviewed Horton and seized 35 kilograms of cocaine and 37 kilograms of methamphetamine.

Horton has pleaded guilty to conspiring to export narcotics and is scheduled for sentencing in September, said Dan Behrends, acting assistant special agent in charge for HSI Blaine.

Barnes’ next court appearance will be on Jan. 31, 2020, for a pre-sentence report.



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

School strike: SD63 says grade 12 students ‘will not lose their graduation year’

Parents, students concerned about educational impact of CUPE 441 strike

Population growth on West Shore strains wait lists for family services

Funding not keeping pace with demand at Pacific Family Services Association

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

West Shore RCMP arrest man accused in Port Renfrew theft, Duncan fraud

Man charged after $300 in fraudulent charges, two phones and wallet stolen

Monster Truck Chaos comes to Victoria, tickets on sale Friday

Monster Truck Chaos rumbles into Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre Jan. 25 and 26

‘We love you, Alex!’: Trebek gets choked up by ‘Jeopardy!’ contestant’s answer

The emotional moment came in Monday’s episode when Trebek read Dhruv Gaur’s final answer

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

One dead after fiery crash in Duncan

A man has died after a fiery motor vehicle collision Monday night,… Continue reading

Most Read