Customs agents seize nearly 1,500 pounds of meth off coast of Washington state

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Customs agents in Washington state seized nearly 1,500 pounds of methamphetamine Wednesday, authorities said.

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According to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, marine interdiction agents from the agency’s Air and Marine Operations seized the narcotics southwest of Stuart Island, which is located west of Bellingham and near the U.S.-Canada border.

Customs agents found 28 duffel bags containing cellophane-wrapped packages while inspecting a boat that was heading away from the U.S. and was about a half-mile from the Canadian border, KIRO-TV reported.

Agents arrested the Canadian citizen who was piloting the boat, the CBP said in its release. Customs officials also seized the vessel and a Glock 9-millimeter handgun.

The 51-year-old man was later identified as Ted Karl Faupel, KIRO reported. According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Faupel was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, the television station reported.

If convicted, Faupel faces a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years.

“Due to the vigilance and exceptional skills of our marine interdiction agents, the Bellingham Air and Marine Branch was able to prevent these dangerous narcotics from harming members of our communities,” Jeremy Thompson, director of air and marine operations for the CBP’s Bellingham branch, said in a statement. “This latest incident is a testament to the dedication of Air and Marine Operations personnel to keeping communities on both sides of the border safe.”

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