Canadian Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Charges Following Extradition To United States In Case Involving Largest Seizure Of Cocaine In District History
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y.—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr, announced today that Alvin Randhawa, 35, of British Columbia, Canada, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export from the United States into Canada five kilograms or more of cocaine, before U.S. Magistrate judge Leslie G. Foschio. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000 fine.
“This case represents a success against another major international narcotics trafficking organization – this time operating in Canada,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul. “We will continue to work with all of our law enforcement partners to protect the threat posed by these dangerous substances.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that between July 2010 and May 2011, Randhawa conspired with others to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the United States via several international bridges including ones in the Buffalo-Niagara region. Investigators believe that this organization trafficked approximately 2,000 kilograms of cocaine (approximately $80,000,000 in value) during the course of the conspiracy.
Randhawa was indicted along with Gursharan Singh and Harinder Dhaliwal. Singh has been convicted. Charges are pending against Dhaliwal. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Also charged in the conspiracy were Ravinder Arora, Michael Bagri and Parminder Sidhu. All three defendants have been convicted.
Today’s plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, Officers from the United States Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Rose Hilmey, Acting Director of Field Operations, the Peel Regional Police Department, under the direction of Chief Jennifer Evans, the Canada Border Services Agency, under the direction of Rick Comerford, Regional Director General, Southern Ontario Region and the Toronto Police, under the direction of Chief William Blair.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.