A steady flow of high-profile seizures at the Peace Bridge border crossing didn’t stop Ranjodh Singh from trying to help smuggle 100 kilograms of cannabis to the U.S.
Singh, a 22-year-old Canadian man, has pleaded guilty before a U.S. judge to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and distributing, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office of the Western District of New York.
The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a US$5 million fine.
Cannabis for adult use is legal in Canada, as well as where the weed travelled to in New York and New Jersey, but federally illegal in America.
The defendant conspired with others, including another man named Amanpreet Gill, to distribute cannabis, assistant U.S. attorney Misha Coulson said in the statement.
“In December 2020, Singh’s co-conspirators purchased and arranged for a shipment of marijuana from Canada to be delivered to Smartway Associates in Somerset, [New Jersey],” reads the statement.
“Unbeknownst to the defendant and his co-conspirators, on Dec. 1, 2020, the shipment was intercepted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility and was searched. Contained within the shipment was a large quantity of marijuana packaged in vacuum sealed bags.”
Investigators then conducted a controlled delivery operation. A silver vehicle, driven by Singh, was seen following the shipment and at the two warehouses where the shipment was temporarily stored.
According to the attorneys, after the weed reached its final destination and police secured the warehouse, he arrived at the warehouse. Investigators seized a cell phone from Singh, which had videos of him identifying police while he was driving around the warehouses.
Charges remain pending against Gill.
The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security investigations, in collaboration with several local sheriffs’ offices and police departments.
“Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.”