Indo-Canadian man sentenced to 20 years for $130 million drug trafficking conspiracy

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Dhaliwal was held in Canadian custody for nearly two years before being extradited to the US to face charges in April 2016.

An Indo-Canadian man on Wednesday has been sentenced to 20 years in a federal prison for his role in a $130 million worth drug smuggling operation between the United States and Canada.

Harinder Dhaliwal of Brampton, Ontario, was sentenced on conspiracy charges by Senior US District Judge William M. Skretny, the US Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York said in apress release.

The 47-year-old Dhaliwal, was arrested in Canada in 2014 along with a group of six other people, who are all indicted on charges related to trafficking large amounts of cocaine and marijuana between 2006 and 2011.

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Dhaliwal pleaded guilty last month to one of the eight charges against him, admitting that he used his tractor-trailers with secret internal compartments to transport, export and distribute more than 3,000 kilograms of cocaine, mostly through New York.

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He was held in Canadian custody for nearly two years before being extradited to the US to face charges in April 2016.

The other persons charged in the conspiracy and convicted were Ravinder Arora, Michael Bagri, Parminder Sidhu, Alvin Randhawa, Gursharan Singh, and Huy Hoang Nguyen.

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“The rigorous efforts of our law enforcement partners both here in the United States and Canada shut down this dangerous pipeline of drug activity that flowed from California to Buffalo and across the border,” Acting US Attorney Kennedy said in the statement. “Those efforts kept literally thousands of kilograms of cocaine and more than half a million ecstasy pills off the streets in both our community and elsewhere.”

“Today’s sentencing is a significant development in a years-long investigation that resulted in significant seizures of narcotics, weapons and arrests in the US and Canada,” said ICE-HIS Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. “Transactional investigations like this one help ensure that our shared border with our Canadian partners remains transparent to law enforcement and simultaneously a hindrance to criminal groups.”

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The United States law enforcement officers recovered a combined 230 kilograms of cocaine through the course of the investigation from Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, NY’s Geneva and California. The officials also seized approximately 690,000 ecstasy pills with an estimated street value of $12 million.