Ketchikan: Canadian sentenced for smuggling try

Posted: Sunday, August 04, 2002

A Canadian man was sentenced Tuesday in Ketchikan Superior Court to two years in jail for a botched smuggling attempt in February of about 42 pounds of marijuana.

The charges against Peter J. Drewry, 46, of Nanoose Bay, British Columbia, stem from an incident in late February when he crashed his plane near Duke Island while traveling from Canada to Ketchikan. The plane was retrieved, and Alaska State Troopers found the marijuana, worth about $400,000, nearby.

Drewry agreed in May to plead guilty to fourth-degree misconduct involving a controlled substance in exchange for a limit of up to two years in jail. Jail time for that charge ranges up to five years.

During his Tuesday sentencing hearing, Drewry's attorney, Dave Rosendin, asked Superior Court Judge Trevor Stephens to sentence Drewry to time served, and to allow Drewry to spend probation in Canada. Drewry has been incarcerated about five months. District Attorney Steve West objected because if Drewry violated probation, Canada would not arrest him, he said, and Alaska could do nothing about it. Also, West noted several times that 42 pounds is "an awful lot" of marijuana. He asked for a two-year sentence with no probationary period.

In sentencing Drewry to two years without probation, Stephens said if Drewry had not been caught, most of the marijuana likely would have ended up in the "hands and lungs" of Ketchikan's youth.

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