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Nova Scotia man awaiting murder trial was Colombian drug cartel kingpin: Authorities

October 1, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Nova Scotia man awaiting murder trial was Colombian drug cartel kingpin: Authorities

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Authorities in Colombia indicated that Nova Scotia resident Steven Douglas Skinner who is awaiting trial for a 2011 killing in Lake Echo was one of the alleged leaders of a drug cartel that employed drug mules to smuggle liquid cocaine in their bodies to North America and Europe.

The Colombian attorney general’s office also revealed that Steven Douglas Skinner killed an accomplice and then fled to Venezuela, according to CBC News,

Skinner was apprehended on a Venezuelan beach in 2016 and was extradited to Canada, where he is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the slaying of Stacey Adams, 20.

Adams was shot and killed in the driveway of a residence in Lake Echo in 2011. Skinner, from Cole Harbour, escaped the province soon after the murder and was on the run for five years before he was busted in Venezuela.

In a press release published last week, the Colombian attorney general’s office said Skinner worked with another man identified as Daniel (El Loco) Barrera to establish a drug trafficking and money laundering enterprise called Morfhox.

A photo of Steven Douglas Skinner is seen on the Interpol website.

The cartel persuaded seniors, mothers and foreigners — mostly Venezuelans — to consume latex capsules filled with liquid cocaine and then travel abroad to deliver the drugs. Morfhox gave the travelers passports, flight tickets, and clothes along with cash for expenses.

The mules were told that if they delivered the drugs to their destinations in North America and Europe, they would receive additional compensation when they returned to Colombia.

On Wednesday, the attorney general’s office in Colombia said it dismantled the Morfhox cartel after four years of probes. Twenty-seven suspects are facing charges, including conspiring to commit a crime, trafficking, manufacturing, drug possession, cash laundering, and murder.

A significant amount of money, four guns, ammunition, and emeralds were discovered during the investigation. Forty-six properties, four businesses, and 12 c haarsve also been seized.

The Colombian authority also claims Skinner murdered an accomplice in Sabaneta, Antioquia, which is located near Medellin.

There’s no indication yet on whether Skinner could be extradited back to Colombia to face additional charges.

Skinner’s Nova Scotia trial for the slaying of Adams is set to begin in September 2019.

Eric Taylor and Cheryl Schurman, the Crown attorneys prosecuting Skinner for the Adams killing, said there was no agreement when he was sent to Canada that he could be extradited back to South America.

They indicated they were not aware of the charges against him when he was extradited to Canada.

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