Xanax Smuggler Sentenced to One Year Imprisonment
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced Cedrick Bourgault-Morin, 22, of Quebec, Canada was sentenced yesterday for smuggling 281,307 pills of Aprazolam (commonly known as Xanax) into the United States. Chief United States District Judge Christina Reiss sentenced Bourgault-Morin to 12 months and 1 day of imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release.
According to court records, at approximately 1:00 am on January 13, 2016, three United States Border Patrol agents responded to the area of the international border near the village of North Troy, Vermont. Agents observed Bourgault-Morin wearing white camouflage clothing, and walking on the tracks. Bourgault-Morin was pulling a plastic sled behind him, loaded with a large object wrapped in white camouflage. As Bourgault-Morin began to conceal the sled and its contents with snow, all three agents approached him, apprehended him, and seized the sled. The agents discovered a large duffle bag on the sled. A search of Bourgault-Morin’s person revealed he did not possess a wallet or any identification documents, no cellular telephone, or other common items. Other than his clothing, the only item on the defendant’s person was a silver folding lock-blade knife.
Upon further inspection at the Newport Station, the agents discovered the duffle to contain 300 vacuum-sealed plastic bags, containing a total of 281,307 pills. All of the pills were 2mg oblong bars that were scored and divisible into four .5mg segments. Each pill bore markings consistent with those used to identify Xanax, which is a brand name for Aprazolam. Aprazolam is a benzodiazepine class of psychoactive drug typically prescribed as an anti-anxiety medication, and a Schedule IV drug. The 300 bags of pills weighed approximately 182.82 pounds, and had a value of approximately $1.6 million.
This matter was investigated by the United States Border Patrol, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Swanton Sector Border Patrol is responsible for securing the land border between ports of entry in Vermont as well as New Hampshire and northeastern New York. The assistance of citizens is invaluable in helping the U.S. Border Patrol accomplish their border security mission and they welcome community members to help them keep our nation’s borders safe by reporting suspicious activity at 1-800-689-3362.
For more on CBP’s mission at our nation’s ports of entry with CBP officers and along U.S. borders with Border Patrol agents, please visit the Border Security section of the CBP website.
The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt. Bourgault-Morin was represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender David L. McColgin.