U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
June 21 , 2010
INTERNATIONAL POT SMUGGLER SENTENCED TO 30 MONTHS IN PRISON
Providence, R.I. – A Quebec man was sentenced Friday to 30 months in federal prison for his role in a $1.7 million international marijuana shipment earmarked for Rhode Island which was interrupted by federal law enforcement agents at the U.S. Border in Vermont in October 2009. Mario Sorgiacomo, 41, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to possess and distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha, which was imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
A co-defendant, Jason Bremner, 31, of Westerly, R.I., also pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to possess and distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Bremner is scheduled to be sentenced July 8.
At the time of Sorgiacomo’s guilty plea, Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind Shah told the court had the matter gone to trial, the government would have presented evidence that Sorgiacomo and Bremner conspired to transport 769 pounds (348.8 kilograms) of marijuana by truck into the United States from Canada. The marijuana had a street value of more than $1.7 million. The truck was also loaded with common and legal goods.
Sorgiacomo assisted loading the truck in Canada and then took a bus to Rhode Island to meet it. After arriving in Providence, he rented a car and drove to Westerly where he met the truck to inspect and inventory the marijuana. The truck was then sent on to a Central Falls warehouse for offloading. Sorgiacomo relayed directives from his handlers in Canada to Bremner in Rhode Island.
The drug shipment was intercepted by agents from ICE at the Canadian-U.S. border, where they off-loaded most of the drugs before allowing the truck to continue to Rhode Island. Agents followed the activities of Sorgiacomo and Bremner, eventually arresting Sorgiacomo in Central Falls and Bremner at a downtown Providence coffee shop.
Both men have been detained since their arrest.