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Body of Former Speed Skiing Champ Found in Car Trunk

August 11, 1996

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ A body found in the trunk of a car abandoned in Vancouver’s Chinatown was that of a former skiing champion once caught in a drug sting.

Police have identified the man whose body was found Friday night as Terrance Watts, 41, a former Vancouver resident who had apparently moved to South America. Watts was reported missing last Monday after failing to return from a business meeting.

Watts was a noted speed-skiing racer in the 1970s and ’80s, winning an international championship in 1985. Speed-skiing stresses straight-line downhill speed, which can reach more than 120 mph.

Watts also was one of five people arrested in a British Columbia drug sting in 1989. The case against the five was dismissed last September on grounds the government failed to disclose facts to the defense, causing an unreasonable delay.

The charges were filed after Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Dutch police hatched a plan in which a Dutch drug dealer and informer got two Dutch drug traffickers to try to broker a $2.2 million hashish sale in Vancouver. The RCMP supplied the hashish, borrowed from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Watts was arrested when he went to deliver $731,000 to an RCMP sergeant, posing as a hashish supplier, at a hotel in suburban Richmond. The other Canadians and the two Dutch dealers were arrested later.

Canadian authorities later agreed to suspend charges against the Dutch drug dealers following a furor over the sting in the Netherlands.

Watts’s body was found Friday evening near a busy late-night market after witnesses reported a foul odor coming from a parked sedan.

Police Constable Anne Drennan said the rented car had received two parking tickets Friday, one in the morning and one in the evening.

Watts had recently worked to help develop mining projects in South America and had apparently moved to Venezuela three years ago, a friend said.

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