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For the week of February 14 through 20, 2001

Local men indicted for drug smuggling

Express Staff Writer

Two Sun Valley residents have been charged for their alleged involvement in an international drug smuggling operation.

Patrick O'Malley Cannon, 54, a Sun Valley resident who also lists an address in Malibu, Calif., and David S. Brocklebank, 54, of Sun Valley, were arraigned Friday in federal court in Boise on a 121-count indictment for conspiracy to import marijuana and cocaine and for money laundering. The men were allegedly involved in schemes begun in the early 1970s to import drugs from Mexico and Thailand.

Both were released after posting $400,000 each in property bonds, and ordered not to travel without permission of the court.

The arrests are unrelated to a drug bust earlier this week in Hailey and Ketchum in which 14 people were charged with drug possession and trafficking.

The charges against the two Sun Valley men, resulting from an investigation stretching over more than a decade, involved police in Hong Kong, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, France, Thailand, the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Grand Cayman Islands, Australia and Canada.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Monte J. Stiles said the allegations involve "multi-ton quantities" of marijuana and an unspecified amount of cocaine.

If convicted, the two men could face 20 years in prison as well as fines of up to $4 million each. In addition, they could face the seizure of more than $11 million in cash derived from drug sales and assets of 22 businesses characterized as "shell corporations" used to launder drug money.

A trial is set for April 16.

Stiles said Friday’s arrests are part of a "loosely connected" group of cases involving smuggling of Thai marijuana to the Sun Valley area.

"In that particular world, people cross paths a lot," he said. "In investigating one case, you find out about other people who are doing similar things."

Last September, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Idaho announced the recovery of more than $5.2 million from those operations. Forfeitures from convictions of Ketchum resident John Parten and former resident Don Trabert accounted for $4.2 million of that.

The Blaine County Sheriff’s Office and the Ketchum Police Department were told they would receive $1 million of the forfeiture money for their help in cracking the case. They are still waiting for most of it.

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