Drug Law

GPS Directs Canadian to US; Busted at Border with Pot

| by NORML

By "Radical" Russ Belville


(Winnipeg Free Press) COBURN GORE, Maine – A Canadian man is in a Maine jail after his GPS directed him to a remote U.S. border crossing where agents found about a half kilogram of marijuana in his car.

Officials say 54-year-old Darrell Fudge was driving from British Columbia back to his home in Newfoundland on Sunday and he did not intend to enter the United States, but his GPS gave him the shortest route, which led through northern Maine.

The Sun Journal newspaper says Fudge is being held on $5,000 bail. He’s expected to appear in court again Wednesday.

"Aw, fudge!  I forgot to set the ‘Avoid International Borders’ checkbox in the GPS options!  Dammit, I knew I shoulda taken that left in Montreal!”

This poor guy drives all the way across Canada, Calgary, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Montreal, a trip that takes 4,434 miles or four days driving time (if you don’t sleep). By avoiding American roads he only adds 57 miles to the journey and the international checkpoint at Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. All for a pound of BC Bud.

I almost felt this wouldn’t count as a Stupid Stoner Story. The guy’s on the last leg of a week’s worth of driving and the GPS, set for “shortest route”, decided to take a shortcut through Maine to get to Newfoundland. Could happen to anybody, right?

Except that this was his return trip. If he’d cut through Maine on the way there he would have had to show a passport, which he admitted he did not have. So he had to have taken the route that runs along the St. Lawrence River over Maine and through Quebec City on the way to Montreal. So on your way back, when you’re outside Montreal, not seeing a major river or any sign saying “Quebec City – 260km”, don’t you begin to doubt your GPS? It does take over three hours to get from Montreal to Coburn Gore, Maine.

The poor guy is now facing a felony charge, spent $5,000 in bail, and lost the pound of BC Bud after two weeks of driving across Canada. The over 1lb in Maine can get him 5 years in prison and another $5,000 in fines. Let this be a lesson to weed smugglers everywhere: plan your route carefully… using a paper map.