News and Press Releases

Judge calls bulk cash smuggling "essential ingredient" of the drug trade

November 18, 2005

ALBERT NIEBOER, 53, from Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for Bulk Cash Smuggling. In sentencing NIEBOER to the prison time U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour called the cash smuggling an "essential element" of drug smuggling and commented that "it saddens me to see so many Canadians, many of them young, involved in this drug trade."

On April 19, 2005 NIEBOER was caught at the border crossing at Lynden Washington attempting to smuggle $194,620 in United States currency from the U.S. into Canada. The money was in vacuum sealed bags inside a hidden compartment in his tractor-trailer rig. The secret compartment had been built into the ceiling in the bunk area of the cab and had a special electronic lock.

In addition to the year in prison, NIEBOER also had to forfeit the truck to the government. It was valued at $50,000. At sentencing, NIEBOER's attorney also pointed out that even if he can resume his trucking business, he would be unable to bring any loads into the United States.

Assistant United States Attorney Jill Otake asked for the year in prison saying it was important to send a message to Canadian truckers that there is a price to be paid for getting involved with the drug trade.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Otake.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington, at (206) 553-4110.

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