Canadian man ends up behind bars following GPS directions

Posted Dec. 01, 2010, at 5:56 a.m.

COBURN GORE, Maine – A Canadian man followed GPS directions right into trouble when about a pound of packaged marijuana was found in his truck at the border.

Darrell P. Fudge, 54, of Newfoundland, never intended to enter Maine on Sunday, Drug Enforcement Supervisor Gerry Baril said Tuesday. He said Fudge was trying to go from the Province of British Columbia back to his Newfoundland home.

His GPS system gave him the shortest route. That meant he ended up at the port of entry checkpoint in Coburn Gore, Baril said.

It also meant he and his vehicle were subject to inspection.

Fudge was arrested on a felony charge of unlawful trafficking in marijuana. About 1 pound was found in a cooler in his vehicle, Baril said. It was prepackaged and shrink-wrapped, he said.

When the drug agency learned border officials were not going to handle it, MDEA Agent Mathew Casavant and Trooper Aaron Turcotte traveled up to investigate.

It is still against the law in Maine to have a pound of prepackaged marijuana, Baril said.

An investigation revealed that Fudge had no intent to enter the state and no intent to sell marijuana in Maine, Baril said.

Fudge appeared Monday in Lewiston District Court. Defense lawyer Richard Charest told the court that Fudge never planned to leave the country; he didn’t even have his passport with him. Fudge wanted to settle the charge Monday but was told he would have to wait until he was before a Superior Court justice.

Assistant District Attorney Patricia Redan asked the court to set bail at $10,000 cash. She said Fudge didn’t have a criminal history in Maine. The bail should be enough to extradite him from Canada, Redan said.

Judge Rick Lawrence set bail at $5,000 cash. Fudge remained in Franklin Count jail in Farmington on Tuesday and was expected to go to court again on Wednesday to try to settle the charge.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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