Canadian couple to spend 1½ years in prison for guns, drugs at border

Posted Dec. 05, 2011, at 3:57 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian couple’s wrong turn in March wound up costing each of them prison time and a ban from re-entering the United States.

Rantel Carlin MaClean, 19, and Janaya Andrea Crawley, 23, both of Nova Scotia, pleaded guilty to gun and drug charges earlier this year.

MaClean was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge John Woodcock in federal court to 1½ years in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty in June to possession of a firearm by an illegal user or addict, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number and possession of a controlled substance.

Crawley also was sentenced by Woodcock on Nov. 7 to 1½ years in prison for possession of a firearm by an illegal user or addict and possession of a controlled substance. She pleaded guilty to the charges in May.

While the flow of guns from the U.S. to Canada has concerned authorities on both sides of the border, it is unusual for Canadians to bring weapons into the U.S.

After completing their prison terms, the pair are expected to be deported.

When they stopped at the Calais border crossing, MaClean and Crawley told authorities they took a wrong turn on their way to a party in Toronto and wound up at the Calais border crossing.

They were referred for a secondary inspection after a border crossing agent smelled marijuana coming from the car, according to court documents. In Crawley’s purse, agents found a loaded Glock .45-caliber handgun and 15 purple pills. Under the passenger seat, agents found a 9 mm loaded Taurus handgun with an obliterated serial number.

Court documents did not explain why MaClean and Crawley felt they needed to travel with guns. Crawley allegedly told investigators she was holding the gun for another person.

In the three suitcases in the trunk of the car, agents found ammunition for both guns and 344 purple pills bearing a stamp of crossed pistols, which tested positive for Ecstasy, according to court documents.

In addition, agents found a bag of what appeared to be marijuana near Crawley’s groin during a pat down of the woman, court documents indicated.

“[MaClean] said that he had smoked three joints between [Saint] John, New Brunswick, and his arrival at the Port of Entry,” Special Agent Anthony Castellanos of U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement wrote in the complaint filed in federal court. “He said that he and Crawley used Ecstacy and explained that he takes approximately ½ pill per hour and that Crawley takes a whole pill whenever her high goes down.”

MaClean allegedly told the agent that the pair uses 400 Ecstacy pills each month and were taking the pills found in the car to share with friends in Toronto.

Each faced up to 10 years in federal prison and fines of up to $250,000 on the possession of a firearm by an addict charge and up to a year in prison on the drug possession charge. In addition, MaClean faced up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for having a gun with an obliterated serial number.

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