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Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Use Fresno Trucking Front to Smuggle Cocaine into Canada

MAR 31 (FRESNO, Calif.) —Armitdeep Mann, 33, a Toronto resident and a Canadian citizen, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute five or more kilograms of cocaine. 

According to court documents, Mann helped set up a Fresno trucking company intending that cocaine would be concealed in legitimate cargo to be shipped to Canada.  As part of the conspiracy, on September 21, 2012, another person was sent to Los Angeles and obtained eight kilograms of cocaine.  Law enforcement seized that cocaine and arrested Mann and additional defendants.  A follow-up search warrant on September 21, 2012, at the Los Angeles residence where authorities believed the eight kilograms of cocaine had been stored resulted in the seizure of an additional forty kilograms of cocaine.

Mann has been held in custody without bail since his September 21, 2012 arrest.   According to court documents, Mann's father Harjeet Mann, was arrested in the Bakersfield area during 2008 and subsequently convicted of federal cocaine trafficking charges. 

This case was the product of an investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  The Drug Enforcement Administration, Fresno Police Department, and the Fontana and Vernon Police Departments actively worked on the case.  Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Rooney is prosecuting the case.

Armitdeep Mann is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on June 9, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. Mann faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF). The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multi-level attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation's drug supply.

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