Thursday, January 23, 2014


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Canadian man pleads in case involving largest seizure of cocaine in district history

BUFFALO – A Brampton, Ontario, man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export from the United States five kilograms or more of cocaine in federal court.  Parminder Sidhu, 39, faces a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, a $10,000,000 fine or both.

“This case stands for more than the largest seizure of cocaine in this District’s history,” said U.S. Attorney William Hochul, Jr.. “Of equal importance, this prosecution demonstrates that American and Canadian law enforcement partners can work seamlessly together to protect the citizens of both countries. For while it may have be true that crime knows no borders, now criminals should realize that our ability to apprehend them also has no geographic limitations.”  

On May 1, 2011, Sidhu directed defendant Bagri to travel once again to California. After hiding another 26 kilograms of cocaine in another tractor trailer, the rig was driven to a truck stop in Pembroke, N.Y. The tractor trailer was then picked up by a driver hired by Parminder Sidhu. As the driver exited the truck stop, Bagri followed behind in another vehicle. Agents later stopped the tractor trailer and Sidhu’s vehicle and seized the 26 kilograms of cocaine.

During the execution of a search warrant at Sidhu’s residence in Canada, agents discovered drug ledgers which detailed nine addition smuggling trips in 2009 and 2010. These trips involved approximately 1,617 kilograms of cocaine being transported from the United States into Canada.

Defendants Ravinder Arora and Michael Bagri have been convicted of similar charges and are awaiting sentencing which is scheduled for April 9, 2014.             

Sidhu will be sentenced on May 28, in Buffalo federal court.