Drug smugglers sentenced to
Sentencing ends eight-year
"We’re disappointed that it
wasn’t a better sentence, but it’s much, much better than what we were
dealing with when this first started."
— WILLIAM OSTERHOUDT,
Attorney for David Brocklebank
By GREG STAHL
Express Staff Writer
Two Blaine County men were
sentenced last week for their admitted involvement in an international
drug smuggling operation that began more than a decade ago in Sun
David S. Brocklebank, 57, of
Hailey, and Patrick O. Cannon, 57, of Ketchum, were sentenced Thursday,
Feb. 19 in U.S. District Court in Boise on charges of conspiracy to
smuggle and distribute drugs and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Brocklebank was sentenced to 56
months in prison and a $15,000 fine. Cannon was sentenced to 40 months
in prison. The men were given several months to straighten out personal
matters before turning themselves in to serve their sentences this
In addition to the sentences, the
two men were also ordered to forfeit assets totaling more than $4
million, including a yacht, business interests, bank accounts in
Switzerland, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein and the United States, as well as
properties in Blaine County. They were both sentenced to five years of
Federal District Judge Owen Panner
handed down the sentences.
Brocklebank and Cannon were
indicted by grand juries four times, beginning in 1996 and most recently
in 2003. The two men entered guilty pleas in U.S. District Court in
Boise in July to two of 121 original counts alleged in a June 28, 2000
federal indictment and to two counts alleged in a July 15, 2003
supplemental accusation, called Information.
In entering guilty pleas,
Brocklebank and Cannon agreed to cooperate in government investigations,
debriefings and proceedings concerning their roles, and the roles of
others, in drug trafficking and money laundering operations.
The men admitted guilt to
conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to import and distribute in
excess of 1,000 kilograms (roughly 1 ton) of marijuana and agreed to
money, property and business forfeitures.
Their sentencing was originally
scheduled for Oct. 16, but that date was put off at least three times.
The maximum penalty for the drug trafficking charge is 10 years in
prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for the money laundering
charge is 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Brocklebank’s attorney, San
Francisco-based William Osterhoudt, said he was disappointed that his
client did not receive a better sentence, but added that it was not as
stringent as it might have been had more of the charges contained in the
original indictment been prosecuted.
Osterhoudt pointed out that Judge
Panner recognized Brocklebank’s charitable contributions to his
community at the sentencing. Osterhoudt pointed to Brocklebank’s
contributions to diabetes research and charities, as well as his work
"During his marriage and after the
birth of his children, David began to mature and change," Osterhoudt
pointed out in a written statement. "Today he is widely respected as an
ethical and conscientious real estate broker … In short, he is an
example of a truly rehabilitated individual who has made an abiding
promise to work toward the betterment of his world."
More specifically addressing last
week’s sentencing, Osterhoudt expanded.
"We’re disappointed that it wasn’t
a better sentence, but it’s much, much better than what we were dealing
with when this first started," he said.
Cannon’s attorney, Akron,
Ohio-based Matthew Fortado, also pointed out that the crimes his client
was charged with occurred in the distant past.
"We’re talking about activity that
happened a very long time ago," Fortado said. "He’s paying now for
mistakes he made in his youth."
Fortado said he believes the
sentences were appropriate given the parameters set forth in federal
sentencing guidelines. He said they varied between the two men,
primarily based on the amount of money that had been laundered.
Fortado, too, said his client has
been a model citizen for a number of years.
"He’s been active teaching
snowboarding and working on behalf of autistic children," he said. "He’s
been self employed in the valley and owns rental property."
On Tuesday, July 15, 2003,
Brocklebank and Cannon signed federal plea agreements, admitting to
conspiracy to import and distribute controlled substances and conspiracy
to launder money. The plea agreement also required the defendants to
forfeit to the U.S. "any and all" property and money, "which are
traceable to proceeds of the continuing criminal enterprise, drug
trafficking and money-laundering offenses…"
For Brocklebank, the plea
agreement listed 11 worldwide and local bank accounts, property in East
Fork and Hawaii and the assets of 14 businesses. For Cannon, the
agreement listed 11 Wood River Valley properties and condominiums, six
bank accounts, a Ford pickup truck, a sailboat and the assets of eight
Upon their compliance with the
plea agreement, including cooperation in ongoing investigations, each
man is to retain a vehicle and $200,000 "for the benefit of the
children, to a trust or other third party."
According to U.S. Attorney Thomas
Moss, the money forfeited will be allocated to agencies that helped to
prosecute the cases, including the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and
the Hailey Police Department.
"I think by the time we’re
through, both Blaine County and the city of Hailey will have realized
more than $1 million each," Moss said.