Two Chilliwack residents are in trouble south of the border after crossing into the U.S. Sunday with meth-making chemicals and equipment in their 1994 Pontiac Grand Am.
Calum James Buchanan, 41, and Lola Crystal McKay, 24, apparently got lost while trying to drop off the vehicle to someone in B.C. and ended up at the Aldergrove border crossing shortly after 7 p.m. Nov. 23.
Buchanan and McKay were sent for a secondary examination where U.S. Customs agents discovered a plastic tub sealed with plastic wrap containing an unknown liquid and other suspicious materials in the rear seat area of the vehicle.
A news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection said one of its agents got sick from breathing the fumes from the materials and “was transported and successfully treated at Saint Joseph Medical Center, Bellingham.”
“Out of an abundance of caution for public safety, northbound and southbound traffic was diverted away from the Lynden port of entry,” it said.
Border agents called in other agencies, including explosives experts given “the unknown nature of the materials.”
It was determined the chemicals were used to manufacture methamphetamine.
Buchanan and McKay were taken into custody and turned over to U.S. Homeland Security Investigation special agents.
They appeared in Whatcom County Superior Court Monday on a charge of possession with intent to manufacture.
“The interdiction of these hazardous chemicals prevents a considerable amount of methamphetamine from reaching the streets of our Nation,” said acting Blaine Area Port Director Kenneth Williams. “This seizure demonstrates the vigilance of our frontline officers in securing our borders, keeping our communities safe and in protecting our way of life.”
McKay has no criminal history in B.C., according to the online court database.
But Buchanan has a series of charges and convictions over the last 11 years for break and enter, theft under $5,000, possession of a controlled substance and repeated breaches of court-ordered conditions. He also has a 2010 conviction for willing resisting a police officer.
In fact, he’s due in Surrey Provincial Court on Dec. 19 over allegations of breaching a conditional sentence for an impersonation conviction.