United States Attorney Jenny A. Durkan
Western District of Washington
Canadian Sentenced To Ten Years In Prison For Role In Cocaine Trafficking Ring
A Canadian who participated in an elaborate cocaine trafficking and transportation scheme involving a criminal drug distribution ring in British Columbia, Canada, was sentenced today to the mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan. MICHEL DUBOIS, 21, of Los Angeles, California was arrested in April 2011 following a year-long investigation of a multi-national drug trafficking organization. At the sentencing hearing Judge John C. Coughenour noted DUBOIS’ young age, and urged him to take advantage of educational opportunities while he is incarcerated.
The investigation into the international drug trafficking ring began in May 2010. Using court authorized wire taps, investigators with DEA and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) determined the drug ring was transporting and distributing 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of marijuana and 100 to 200 kilos of cocaine every month. The marijuana was smuggled into the U.S. from Canada and distributed across the country to California, Illinois, Missouri, Georgia and New Jersey among other locations. Proceeds from the marijuana distribution were used to purchase cocaine in Southern California. The cocaine was transported to British Columbia for distribution. The smuggling organization had ties to members of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang in British Columbia, Canada.
DUBOIS was recruited by co-defendant Mario Joseph Fenianos, 39, another Canadian living in Los Angeles. Fenianos worked directly for a violent organized crime group in Canada and was responsible for coordinating the purchase, distribution and transportation of the cocaine from Southern California. Ultimately, Fenianos was involved in arranging for 100s of kilograms of cocaine that were smuggled into Canada. On April 8, 2011, Fenianos and DUBOIS provided 96 kilos of cocaine to someone they thought was a pilot who would fly it into Western Washington, where it would be later smuggled into Canada – in fact the pilot was an undercover agent with DEA.
DUBOIS and Fenianos were arrested April 26, 2011, with 30 kilos of cocaine in Fenianos’ car. At their LA residence agents located one pound of crack cocaine, more than $100,000 in cash and a loaded semi-automatic Ruger. Fenianos was sentenced to 13 years in prison in March 2012.
Over the course of the investigation investigators seized more than $2 million and 136 kilograms of cocaine.
Three other co-conspirators have already been sentenced. Jacob Burdick, 34, of Marysville, was sentenced to 12 years in prison and five years of supervised release. Michael Murphy, 62, and Pamela Marie Murphy, 58, of Penn Valley, California, were sentenced to 12 years in prison and 18 months in prison respectively. Last month two other defendants in the case went to trial and were convicted. They will be sentenced in October.
This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by DEA Offices – Seattle, Chicago, Las Vegas, Fresno, Los Angeles and New Jersey; ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations - Seattle and Sacramento; Customs and Border Protection – Office of Air & Marine; King County Sheriff’s Department; Seattle Police Department; Washington State Patrol; Snohomish Regional Drug Task Force; and the Bureau Of Narcotics Enforcement (California).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Vince Lombardi and Jeff Backhus.ext of the press release can be pasted over the following paragraphs..