An American man has been sentenced to just over 7.5 years in prison in relation to a methamphetamine seizure in Abbotsford in July 2020 that was one of the largest in Canadian history.
Zacchary Hecock, 29, of Blaine, Wash. was sentenced Tuesday (Feb. 22) in B.C. Supreme Court in Abbotsford after previously pleading guilty to importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking.
Hecock was among two men who illegally crossed into Canada with an ATV and trailer on July 19, 2020.
Police at the time said residents in the area of Mt. Lehman Road reported seeing the ATV cross the border.
Police and US Border Patrol responded, and Hecock was arrested in a nearby blueberry field.
The ATV and trailer contained duffel bags with “bulk level methamphetamine” totalling 198 kilograms (almost 440 pounds).
The second man was identified but remained at large at the time police issued a press release about the incident four days later. Court records indicate that Hecock was the only one charged.
Police said the case was likely one of the largest meth seizures in Canadian history.
The case also resulted in a civil lawsuit being launched by two seasonal farmworkers from Mexico, whom police came across when searching for the two drug smugglers.
One of the men alleges that an Abbotsford Police officer released his dog and that the officer “started kicking and punching him, while the dog continued to bite him.”
The court documents state that the man suffered bites and scratches from the dog and was in pain from the alleged assault by the officer.
The second man said two RCMP officers pointed their guns at him and told him to lie on the ground. The man was handcuffed and detained for “at least seven to 12 minutes,” according to the lawsuit.
The two men said that the “psychological and emotional trauma” of the incident resulted in their return to Mexico a month before their contract in Canada had ended.
They are each seeking more than $35,000 in damages.