Trial set in Aldergrove ‘boxed drug lab’ smuggling case

Chilliwack man scheduled to stand trial in Washington state on Jan. 26

A seven-day jury trial has been set for one of two Canadians charged with trying to bring a meth-lab-in-a-box across the Aldergrove border crossing.

Calum James Buchanan, 40, is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 26.

Buchanan and Lola Crystal McKay, 24, both from Chilliwack, were arrested at the Aldergrove border crossing on Sunday, Nov. 23 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers discovered the chemicals in a 1994 Pontiac Grand Am.

A U.S. customs officer became nauseated and vomited after breathing fumes from some plastic wrapped storage containers in the car.

The crossing was shut down in both directions for about an hour while a haz-mat team removed the chemicals.

The two were supposed to appear before a Whatcom County Superior Court judge in Bellingham to set a date on Dec. 5, but McKay failed to show.

Her court-appointed public defender said McKay may have had trouble crossing the border back into the U.S. following her release and return to Canada last month on a promise to appear.

The judge has issued a warrant for McKay’s arrest.

Court documents show Buchanan told investigators he was going to be paid $500 to deliver the lab to a third party in Canada while McKay denied any knowledge.

If convicted of possession of meth chemicals with intent to manufacture, the pair could face a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000 U.S.