From prison, trafficker attends $ 21,000 seizure

Sentenced to eight years in prison for importing a large quantity of cocaine, Stéphane Boutin de Coaticook saw a sum of $ 21,180 seized from his home confiscated by the court.
C is from Drummondville prison where he is held as Boutin attended Monday the confiscation of the money as proceeds of crime.

Boutin was intercepted at the East Hereford border crossing in April 2015 with 52 packets of white powder. In June 2016, he recognized the importation of 77 kilos of cocaine. Only in his van, Boutin had been stopped by border services officers when he entered Canada.

It was his nervousness that had pushed the customs officer to search his vehicle where cocaine was found worth $ 3.3 million according to the expertise of police.

During the search of her Row 9 home in Coaticook, the police seized several bundles of $ 20.

In the freezer, an amount of $ 20,000 in denominations of $ 20 in bundles of $ 2,000 had been discovered. The rest was hidden in his bedroom.

According to an expert from the Sûreté du Québec who testified during the application for confiscation, the composition of these bundles of money “corresponded in all respects to the methods of organized crime”.

Boutin claimed that the money came from the bank account of the estate of his parents who died in 2010. He denied that the money was related to the importation of cocaine or other criminal activity.

Judge Conrad Chapdelaine of the Court of Quebec did not believe the testimony of Stéphane Boutin who claimed that it was safer to keep his inheritance in the freezer and that he changed the old banknotes with new ones.

“By your confession you did not ride on gold. Your building had to be sold, but you kept money in the freezer (…) Your explanations or justifications are implausible and the court can not grant credibility, “concluded Justice Chapdelaine.

The judge accepted the opinion of the prosecution’s expert who showed that Stéphane Boutin corresponded to the profile of the individuals wanted as a smuggler for organized crime.

The prosecution had argued that organized crime was recruiting people who had a legitimate reason to cross the border often, Boutin being a trucker. He lived near the border, in Coaticook, and he had no criminal record.

The expert had also testified that the amount seized corresponded to the usual remuneration given to the carriers for such a quantity of narcotics.

“This money is tinged with crime,” says Justice Chapdelaine.

The money seized from Stéphane Boutin was confiscated for the benefit of the Attorney General of Canada.

Me Guy Plourde defended Stéphane Boutin in this request for confiscation.

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