International Marijuana Trafficker Sentenced
The final defendant in a sixteen-defendant indictment charging conspiracy to import marijuana from Canada and distribute it in the United States was sentenced today in federal court, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.
McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Special Agent in Charge, Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.
Hassan Abboud, 39, of Sterling Heights, Michigan was sentenced by United States District Judge Avern Cohn to 84 months imprisonment, to be followed by four years of supervised release.
According to court records, from 2005-2009 Abboud was the leader of an international drug trafficking organization that imported thousands of pounds of marijuana from the Toronto, Canada area into the U.S. Cash seizures of more than $1.8 million was seized as a result of this prosecution.
The conspirators used various methods to smuggle high-quality "B.C. Bud" marijuana from the Toronto, Canada, area through metropolitan Detroit using trucks, boats and trains, according to court documents.
During the time frame of the conspiracy, Abboud was living near Toronto, Canada, where he obtained the marijuana and would direct shipments of money into Canada. Couriers were used to distribute the marijuana in metro Detroit as well as the Chicago, Illinois area.
Abboud remains in custody, where he has been since April 12, 2012. On that date, he was arrested in a personal pleasure boat in Lake Saint Clair, traveling from Canada to the United States. His presence in Canada was in violation of his bond.
Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge for the DEA, stated that, "This investigation shows that the DEA works closely with our Canadian law enforcement counterparts in an effort to secure our northern border. This investigation, with the combined efforts of our local, federal and Canadian partners, successfully dismantled a large high-grade marijuana smuggling organization."
"In working with our international law enforcement partners, IRS-Criminal Investigation helped to trace the illegal proceeds of a narcotics ring. As a result, Abboud has been removed from our streets and sitting behind bars," said Erick Martinez, IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge.
United States Attorney McQuade congratulated the DEA Task Force, Toronto Police Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Sterling Heights Police Department, who were assisted by Customs and Border Protection, Macomb County Enforcement Team, the FBI, the Coast Guard and the Shelby Township Police, as well as our Canadian law enforcement partners involved in the case.