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Accused Vancouver smuggler to be extradited 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Cocaine. (FOTOLIA)

Cocaine. (FOTOLIA)

A Vancouver restaurateur could be extradited to the U.S. in two weeks to face accusations he directed a drug ring involving hundreds of kilograms of cocaine allegedly brought into Canada.

Anthony Ricardo Farinha, 50, lost a bid to prevent his extradition in the B.C. Court of Appeal on Wednesday. His lawyer Gary Botting said the owner of the Templeton Restaurant could face five years in a U.S. prison if plea negotiations are favourable. Farinha intends to plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to export cocaine, he said.

According to the court decision, Farinha has not been charged in Canada.

“Canada has this very odd relationship … with the U.S. in which it summons Canadians down there to get far more severe punishments than they would get in Canada for the same activity,” Botting said.

Court documents allege Farinha directed two Canadian men to transport cocaine from California to a beach house owned by him in Blaine, Wash. It was here in December 2008 that U.S. agents found the pair attempting to transport 111 kilograms of the drug via jet ski.

Both of Farinha’s alleged accomplices, Montgomery Hill and Dhymitruy Bouryiotis, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and agreed to co-operate with authorities.

Hill made seven to eight shipments to Canada between June and December 2008, with at least 80 kilograms of cocaine in each batch, according to the court document. Bouryiotis helped transport six or seven loads from Los Angeles.

About a month after the duo’s arrests, Farinha turned himself in to Surrey RCMP and told them he would plead guilty if charged in Canada, Botting said.

Farinha has five children, three of them dependents who live locally, he added.

 

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