Narwhal tusk smuggler loses bid to block extradition to U.S.
Ex-Mountie Gregory Logan's leave to appeal dismissed by Supreme Court, will now face money-laundering charges
Narwhal tusk smuggler Gregory Logan is facing extradition to the United States to be tried on money-laundering charges after losing a bid to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.
In a decision released Thursday, the country's highest court dismissed without costs Logan's application for leave to appeal a committal order issued by federal justice minister in January 2015 and upheld by the Court of Appeal of New Brunswick in October 2015.
Logan, who was an RCMP officer for 25 years and was once posted in Nunavut, pleaded guilty in October 2013 to seven counts of trafficking offences related to 250 narwhal ivory tusks being smuggled from Canada into the United States.
He was fined $385,000 and given an eight-month conditional sentence that included four months of house arrest.
Logan, who now lives in Woodmans Point, N.B., was seeking to appeal the extradition order, arguing he was unaware he could also face charges in the U.S. when he pleaded guilty to the offences under the Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA).
He argued it placed him in double jeopardy because he could expect to be punished a second time for essentially the same thing he pleaded guilty to and was punished for in Canada.
Released pending decision
Logan was released from custody in October, while waiting to learn if the Supreme Court would hear his case.
As a condition of his release, he was required to surrender to the Saint John Regional Correctional Centre by 4 p.m. the day prior to the Supreme Court's decision.
Logan "complied with the conditions of his release," federal Department of Justice spokesman Ian McLeod confirmed on Thursday.
"Under the extradition treaty, Canada has 45 days to remove him and we'll do so in due course," he said.
Narwhals, medium-sized whales that live year-round in the Arctic, are a protected species under the Convention in International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Male narwhals have a straight tusk that can measure up to 2.5 metres long. Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the land claims organization that represents the Inuit of Nunavut, said tusks can fetch up to $100 per inch.
Only Inuit people can legally harvest narwhal in Canada. It is used as a source of food and income.
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.