According to the Vancouver Sun, Tina Howe, 58 year-old grandma, was sentenced to 80 months in jail this week for trying to smuggle 155,168 ecstasy pills across the U.S. border. That's almost 7 years in jail! Poor old grandma.
The bust actually happened about a decade ago back in June 2007, when she and co-accused, Maria Cooke, were driving down the I-5 near Blaine. They had hid the pills in the roof compartment of their blue Dodge minivan, but it split open and the pills scattered everywhere on the highway. State troopers said there was pink and blue dust and haze everywhere.
They even tried getting rid of the pills by throwing them into a ditch before abandoning their vehicle. But not exactly an inconspicuous hiding place. State troopers arrived and the two were arrested. Good try though.
Howe confessed but tried defending herself by saying that she did it for her son who was trying to get out of drug dealing and start a fresh slate.
She continued to fess up that she had made two earlier smuggling trips to the States for an unnamed drug trafficking organization.
Despite her having cooperated with the law earlier on, as soon as she we released from bail, she went into hiding for several years until found by the Canadian law enforcement, explains Assistant U.S. Attorney Siddharth Velamoor.
Howe's daughter-in-law wrote to the U.S. court, “[Howe's son] wanted to get out of dealing and turn his life around, which led to people wanting him dead. Yes, this is a crime, but it was also an act of trying to save her son’s life. Being a mother myself, I completely understand.”
At least she tried. A for effort. Sorry, Tina.