A San Rafael man and his wife are facing federal drug charges after being linked to an Ecstasy-smuggling operation in Canada, according to court documents.
Paul and Meghan Grudzien are scheduled to appear Tuesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, where a judge will decide whether they should remain in custody pending trial.
The case stemmed from a series of meetings between a government informant and two alleged drug traffickers under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security. The alleged traffickers sought the informant's assistance in smuggling drugs from Canada into the United States, according to an affidavit by Special Agent Nicholas Sanzone.
On Jan. 8, the alleged traffickers -- identified as Angel Nava and Francisco Jose Paz -- met with the confidential informant at a Burger King in Lynden, Wash., just south of the Canadian border, Sanzone said. The informant, who was wearing a wire, received instructions to deliver a shipment of drugs to the Bay Area for a $27,000 payment.
That night, an unidentified courier brought two duffel bags over the border. The informant picked them up and turned them over to federal agents. Inside the bags, investigators found more than 62 pounds of white powder that tested positive for the drug MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, Sanzone said.
The informant received additional phone instructions to drive to Marin and rent a car for the drugs to be transferred in.
At about 8 a.m. on Jan. 10, the informant parked the car at the Best Western Plus Novato Oaks Inn in Ignacio. An hour later, the informant received a call from a woman who said she wanted to pick up the shipment. The caller said she would be at the hotel in half an hour.
Just before 9:30 a.m., a gray Volkswagen Toureg pulled up with a man at the wheel and a woman passenger. The vehicle's license plate showed that the car was registered to Meghan Grudzien at an address in Oakland, according to the affidavit.
Investigators watched nearby as the man, later identified as Paul Grudzien, took the duffel bags from the rental car and put them in the back set of the Toureg. Detectives then tailed the Toureg to San Rafael until it arrived at Grudzien's home at 20 Linden Court, the affidavit said.
The Grudziens were arrested and federal agents searched the residence. The suspects were and charged with possession of Ecstasy with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine, according to court filings.
Neither suspect entered a plea during an initial court appearance on Friday.
Paul Grudzien's lawyer, Russell Goodrow, declined to comment on the case Monday, as did Meghan Grudzien's lawyer, Adam Gasner.
It was unclear whether the Grudziens live together at the San Rafael address. A neighbor said they had separated but might have reconciled.
Their ages were not available.