Canadian antiques dealer sentenced in border case

Posted Dec. 23, 2008, at 8:25 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:44 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian antiques dealer charged with possession of the drug Ecstasy in Somerset County was sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court to time served, or 154 days in jail, for making a fraudulent statement to customs officials when he crossed the border on May 7 at Houlton.

Terrance Albert Walker, 49, of Truro, Nova Scotia, also was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and forfeit $1,000 of the $5,600 in U.S. currency he had with him when he was arrested. He voluntarily agreed to be excluded from the U.S. rather than go through a deportation hearing.

The federal sentence was not calculated from his arrest date, but from when Somerset County District Attorney Evert Fowle formally turned Walker over to federal officials. Before that he was in the custody of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Walker also was charged in federal court with importing morphine. In a plea agreement with prosecutors, that charge was dismissed Tuesday.

He is expected to be sentenced later this week to time served in 12th District Court in Skowhegan on a misdemeanor drug possession charge for having seven Ecstasy pills in his possession in February at a Canaan motel. That sentence will be calculated from his arrest on May 7. The maximum sentence on the state charge is a year in state prison and a maximum fine of $2,000.

“You breached the long-standing trust between the United States and Canada,” U.S. District Judge John Woodcock said in sentencing Walker in federal court Tuesday, “and, in particular, you breached the long-standing trust between the people of Nova Scotia and the people of Maine.

“You escaped, by the skin of your teeth, some major charges and a long-term jail sentence,” the judge continued. “You’re lucky you were caught before something dreadful happened. You were playing a dangerous game with risky company.”

Walker has been married for 24 years and has one child, according to Woodcock. The defendant was a respected businessman in Nova Scotia until 2007, when he began using drugs and spending time with much younger women. The woman he was with when he crossed the border in May admitted to officials that she was a drug addict, the judge said.

She is not facing charges, a federal prosecutor said Tuesday.

When Walker and the unidentified female were interviewed in May at the border, he initially told officials that they were on a buying trip for his antiques business in Truro. According to court documents, he later said that they were headed to Skowhegan because he had a court date.

Jeffrey Silverstein, Walker’s Bangor attorney, told the judge that his client believed that if he had told border-crossing guards the truth, he would not have been allowed into the United States.

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