Narwhal tusk smuggler loses bid to block extradition to U.S.

A former Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks into the United States has lost his bid to block his extradition to the U.S. to face money-laundering charges.

Ex-Mountie Gregory Logan's appeal dismissed by New Brunswick Court of Appeal

A former Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks into the United States has lost his bid to block his extradition to the U.S. to face money-laundering charges.

Gregory Logan of Woodmans Point, N.B., was convicted in October 2013 on seven counts of trafficking offences related to 250 narwhal ivory tusks. Logan was fined $385,000 and given an eight-month conditional sentence that included four months of house arrest.

The U.S. Department of Justice wants to try Logan for money laundering and a Court of Queen's Bench ruling in July 2014 ruled that he could be extradited.

Logan appealed the extradition order, arguing it should be stayed for abuse of process.

He argues that it places him in double jeopardy since he can expect to be punished again for essentially the same thing he pleaded guilty to and was punished for in Canada.

Male narwhals have a tusk up to 2.5 metres long. (Paul Nicklen/Getty Images)
In a decision released Thursday, the New Brunswick Court of Appeal rejected Logan's bid to stop the extradition.

"The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that a stay of proceedings for abuse of process is only rarely warranted," states the decision.

"This is an extraordinary remedy that is reserved for exceptional cases involving the most egregious abuses by state authorities."

The decision notes Logan had a copy of the U.S indictment and knew he stood to be prosecuted there nine months before he pleaded guilty in Canada.

"The case before us involved cross-border criminal activity which gives rise to overlapping prosecutorial jurisdictions," states the decision.

"Both the Canadian and U.S. authorities have conducted lawful investigations of Mr. Logan's alleged cross-border criminality, have laid charges in accordance with their respective laws, and have pursued those charges in good faith."

"There is no basis to conclude that Mr. Logan has been prejudiced or subjected to unfair treatment."

Logan was a Mountie for 25 years and was once posted in Nunavut.

Narwhals are medium-sized whales that live year-round in the Arctic. Male narwhals have a straight tusk that can measure up to 2.5 metres long.

The narwhal is a protected species in the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Only Inuit people can legally harvest narwhal in Canada. It is used as a source of food and income.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the land claims organization that represents the Inuit of Nunavut, has said tusks can fetch up to $100 per inch.

About 500 narwhals are harvested legally each year in Nunavut. There is an estimated population of more than 100,000 animals.

Between 2003 and 2009, Logan hid narwhal tusks in his truck and trailer and drove to Calais, Me., where he deposited tusks for shipment to a U.S. buyer, officials said.


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