News and Press Releases

Canadian paid another inmate to offer false testimony; plot uncovered at Federal Detention Center

February 6, 2006

BHINDER SINGH DHALIWAL, 25, of Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, was sentenced today to 144 months in prison and three years of supervised release for Possession of Ecstasy with Intent to Distribute, and Importation of Ecstasy. In sentencing DHALIWAL, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart said he would recommend DHALIWAL serve at least 96 months of his sentence in the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons before being eligible for treaty transfer to his native Canada.

DHALIWAL was convicted September 12, 2005, following a five day jury trial. DHALIWAL had been arrested at the Lynden border crossing March 19, 2005, when he attempted to smuggle nearly 100,000 tablets of ecstasy into the United States hidden in bags placed under the bed liner of his pickup truck. Alert Customs and Border Protection agents had noticed a bulge in the bed liner and a shiny new screw holding it to the truck. The ecstasy has a minimum street value of $1.7 million.

The case took an odd twist in July of 2005, when DHALIWAL agreed to pay another inmate at the Federal Detention Center $50,000 Canadian, to offer false testimony in the case. DHALIWAL then had thousands of dollars delivered to the ex-wife of defendant RICHARD GODIN. The plot to offer the false testimony was uncovered by reviewing the taped telephone calls at the Federal Detention Center. GODIN’s testimony was never submitted to the jury. Last week GODIN was sentenced to 97 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly in a separate ecstasy smuggling case. GODIN received a longer sentence because of his participation in the failed plot to offer false testimony.

In asking for a lengthy sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Dohrmann wrote to the court, “Dhaliwal’s brazen efforts to present false testimony to this court and to the jury demonstrate his complete disdain and disregard for the law.” Judge Robart agreed saying the attempt to purchase testimony was, “conduct that I find reprehensible in terms of corrupting the judicial system of the United States.”

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with assistance at trial from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Assistant United States Attorney Susan B. Dohrmann prosecuted the case.

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

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