Border agents arrest P.E.I. woman for exporting drug

Kelly MacKinnon part of allegation of selling ephedrine to U.S., international clients

Nigel Armstrong
Published on January 10, 2014

A Charlottetown women has been charged with illegally selling a drug sometimes used to make crystal meth, or speed.

Kelly MacKinnon, 36, of Charlottetown and family member Barry James MacKinnon, 63, of Upper Sackville were charged this week by the Canada Border Services Agency, says a statement issued Friday from the agency in Halifax.

“It is alleged the two sold over three million tablets of ephedrine to international customers through their Internet business,” said the agency. “The substance was shipped to customers and described as gifts and dietary supplements through more than 5,000 separate transactions in shipments to multiple countries, primarily to the U.S.”

An Internet company called Nice and Natural with a contact address in Bedford, N.S. has an answering machine with a voice message from Barry MacKinnon. It sells a variety of herbal and vitamin supplements as well as a leather coin-purse and sex toys. The FAQ portion of the site has the following entry: “Question: Do you ship ephedrine HCl to the United States or Internationally?

“Answer: We DO NOT ship ephedrine HCl to the United States or Internationally. Ships within Canada only!”

Ephedrine has a history in medicine for nasal decongestion, weight loss because it suppresses appetite, and as a stimulant. It is used recreationally by bodybuilders, and for weight loss but Health Canada has limited its dose.

The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act lists ephedrine as a precursor drug because it is a vital building block in the creation of methamphetamine which is used illegally for its long-lasting euphoria, or high, a sense of greatly increased energy, and increased sexual desire.

Street names for methamphetamine include glass, ice, crack and tina.

“A licence or permit authorized by Health Canada is required to import or export (ephedrine) from Canada,” says the statement issued by the border agency. “If shipments are not accompanied by the necessary documentation, the CBSA may detain or seize.”

The charges against the MacKinnon’s came after a tip, and searches of residences in P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. The two are scheduled for a court appearance in Halifax on Feb. 10.