By Cindy Filipenko
A Pemberton man facing charges of transporting marijuana into Washington State via helicopter has had his sentencing hearing moved back by more than a month.
Originally scheduled to appear before the court on March 3, Shane Mensal will now appear on April 14.
The court dates for Menzel and two other men involved in the incident, were rescheduled due to scheduling conflicts of the lawyers involved.
Menzel, Paul McCluskey and Jake Humphrey pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to import marijuana, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute and possession of marijuana on aircraft on Sept. 22.
The Pemberton man had piloted a helicopter to a mountainous region outside of the Seattle Sept. 14, 2005, where McCluskey and Humphrey allegedly took possession of a hockey equipment bag full of marijuana.
Sentencing will be dependent on the pre-sentencing reports and memoranda. As for serving their sentences, the three men, all from B.C., will have an opportunity to do so in Canada.
“There is a cross-border treaty transfer,” said Emily Langlie, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle. “The decision as to what point in their sentence the men would be eligible for transfer is made by the State Department, taking in to account recommendations from the Bureau of Prisons.”
Menzel could be facing up to 20 years in prison, although typical sentences for marijuana smuggling in Washington State usually call for less than 10 years of incarceration.