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Press Release

Canadian Man Pleads Guilty To Drug Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Thomas Goodyer, 44, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to import 100 kilograms or more of marijuana into the United States from Canada, before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara. The charge carries a minimum of 5 years and maximum of 40 years penalty of imprisonment and a $2,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten, who is handling the case, stated that on or about November 5, 2005, Daniel Hebert entered the United States at the Peace Bridge port of entry in Buffalo, NY, driving a tractor trailer.  Hebert and the tractor trailer were sent to secondary inspection, and a search resulted in the seizure of multiple plastic wrapped packages containing a green, leafy substance, weighing approximately 145 kilograms, inside 7 cardboard boxes hidden among boxes containing frozen waffles.  After Miranda warnings were waived by Hebert, he told Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) Agents, among other things, that the marijuana was to be delivered to a man named "Brian" at Jim's Truck Plaza in Cheektowaga, NY.  Hebert agreed to cooperate, and after the marijuana was removed from the boxes, the boxes were returned to the trailer.  Agents surveilled Hebert as he drove the tractor trailer to Jim's Truck Plaza, and met a white male, who then entered a white conversion van.  Agents surveilled the white van and Hebert, as he drove the tractor trailer, to Pilot Air Freight on Broadway in Buffalo, where Hebert backed the tractor trailer into the rear of the parking lot.  Agents observed the white van back in next to the tractor trailer, and two males (later identified as Thomas Goodyer and Brian Brady), exit the van and walk to the rear of the tractor trailer.  The trailer doors were opened and Goodyer and Brady were arrested as the boxes that had contained marijuana were handed to them.

ICE agents administered Miranda warnings to Thomas Goodyer, which he said he understood and waived, both orally and in writing, before agreeing to be interviewed.  Among other things, Goodyer stated that: he received a call from Brian Brady within the week before the date of arrest and was asked whether he wanted to make “some quick cash;” Brady did not tell Goodyer how much he was going to make; Goodyer asked what he had to do to make the money and Brady said that Goodyer would have to ride along as they drove 150 pounds of marijuana to Boston, MA; Goodyer was going to be paid part of the money Brady made for delivering the marijuana; Goodyer crossed into the United States at the Peace Bridge on November 5, 2005 at approximately 10:13 p.m. and met Brady at a Citgo station near the Peace Bridge; Goodyer followed Brady to his ex-wife’s trailer in Cheektowaga, where Goodyer left his vehicle; and Goodyer stayed overnight with Brady while arrangements were made with Hebert, and then got into the van with Brady.

On November 7, 2005, a criminal complaint was filed in United States District Court for the Western District of New York charging Goodyer with offenses related to the importation and possession with intent to distribute marijuana that occurred on November 5, 2005.  On November 9, 2005, Goodyer appeared before a federal Magistrate Judge, who ordered Goodyer released with various conditions, including that he post $10,000 bail and attend all court proceedings.  Goodyer signed an acknowledgement of the conditions of his release and an appearance bond.  Goodyer was required to attend a plea proceeding scheduled to occur before the District Court on December 21, 2006; however, he failed to appear, and an arrest warrant was issued for the defendant.

Approximately 145 kilograms (over 310 pounds) of marijuana is the amount involved in the defendant’s relevant conduct encompassed in the Indictment that could be readily proven by the government against the defendant.

The plea is the result of an investigation by Special Agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Kennedy, and United States Customs & Border Protection under the direction of Rose Hilmey, Acting Director of Field Operations.

Goodyer is scheduled for sentencing on November 19, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. before Judge Arcara.

Updated August 17, 2015

Topic
Drug Trafficking