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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Canadian Man Suspected Of Transporting Drugs Across The Border Arrested On Marijuana Charge

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Alexander Maizels, 48, of Ontario, Canada, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years and a $5,000,000. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Adler, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, a federal investigation was initiated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) Buffalo Border Enforcement Security Team (BEST) into the activities of the defendant and multiple co-conspirators contracted to transport controlled substances between the United States and Canada for transnational criminal organization.

The investigation was based in part on Maizels’ arrest in April 2015 by the Illinois State Police for being in possession of over 100 kilograms of marijuana. On April 7, 2015, the defendant entered the United States at the Buffalo, NY port of entry operating a commercial tractor trailer. On April 8, 2015, Maizels’ made a delivery in Patterson, NJ. Later that day, the defendant arrived in Liverpool, NY, at a warehouse that had been identified by law enforcement officers as a warehouse utilized by individuals based in Canada who were suspected of transporting controlled substances. On April 9, 2015, the defendant traveled to a business in Elk Grove Village, IL. HSI Buffalo provided information to HSI Chicago and the Illinois State Police. The Illinois State Police searched the tractor trailer and found 30 brown boxes which contained 235 heat-sealed bundles of a green leafy substance suspected to be marijuana. The Illinois State Police estimated the street value of the seized marijuana was more than $900,000. 

The complaint is the result of an investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly, and Customs and Border Protection, under the direction of Director of Field Operations Rose Brophy.

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.

Updated February 1, 2018