Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic January 21, 2014 - 3:32 pm

Canadian narwhal tusk-smuggler faces extradition to U.S.

Defence lawyer says Greg Logan shouldn't be tried twice for the same conduct

PETER VARGA
Gregory Logan, convicted in Canada on charges relating to the illegal transport of legally-harvested narwhal tusks from Canada to the United States, now faces an extradition hearing for similar charges in the U.S. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
Gregory Logan, convicted in Canada on charges relating to the illegal transport of legally-harvested narwhal tusks from Canada to the United States, now faces an extradition hearing for similar charges in the U.S. (PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

A New Brunswick man, convicted in Canada in October for smuggling narwhal tusks into the United States, faces an extradition request, that if successful, would force him to answer to a similar list of charges south of the border.

The U.S. Department of Justice wants to try Gregory Logan, currently under house arrest and serving a conditional sentence in New Brunswick, on “a whole group of counts, all of which relate to precisely the same conduct for which he’s already been convicted and sentenced in Canada,” Logan’s defense lawyer, Brian H. Greenspan, told Nunatsiaq News Jan. 21.

The charges include money laundering and a list of counts that are essentially the same as what Logan faced in Canada in 2013, but “just calling it something else,” Greenspan said.

If so, that would violate Logan’s Charter right not to be subjected to double jeopardy — being tried and convicted twice for the same offence.

Logan’s extradition hearing will take place April 1 in Saint John, New Brunswick.

The former career RCMP officer, originally from Alberta, was convicted Oct. 1 on seven counts for offences relating to the illegal sale of narwhal tusks to U.S. buyers, and smuggling of the tusks from St. Stephen, New Brunswick, to Calais, Maine.

His conviction was the result of a two-year investigation by Environment Canada, launched in 2009, to uphold Canada’s Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act.

Although the tusks were harvested legally in Canada, the United States prohibits the import and sale of narwhal tusks.

Logan was fined $385,000 and given an eight-month community sentence, including four months of house arrest, which he is now serving in New Brunswick.

He and his lawyer received notice of the proposed extradition after the conviction, Greenspan said.

If successful, the U.S. Department of Justice’s request for extradition will call for Canada to “surrender” Logan to the United States, Greenspan said, where he will stand trial on the U.S. charges.

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