Brampton Man Sentenced to Several Years in U.S. Jail for Drug Trafficking Scheme

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Lots of money and lots of people were involved in a drug trafficking scheme across the Canada-U.S. border worth millions of dollars back in April. Now, a Brampton man has been sentenced to several years in a U.S. federal prison in connection with the crime.

We reported in April that 47-year-old Brampton man Harinder Dhaliwal had pleaded guilty to conspiring to export cocaine from the U.S. into Canada.

Dhaliwal admitted to being part of an international conspiracy that trafficked over 3,000 kilograms of cocaine worth an estimated $120,000,000, most of it through the Western District of New York.

According to release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office, Dhaliwal has been sentenced to 20 years - or 240 months as the release says - in jail.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch said that between 2006 and 2011, Dhaliwal conspired with others to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the United States and marijuana and ecstasy into the United States from Canada via several international bridges including those in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

U.S. law enforcement officers recovered a staggering 230 kilograms of cocaine. Of that amount, 123 kilograms of cocaine were obtained through two seizures at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and in Geneva, NY.

This “represents the largest seizure arising from a single investigation in the District's history,” said the release.

The remaining 107 kilograms were seized in California.

Almost as shocking, 690,000 ecstasy pills were also seized at an estimated street value of $12 million.

Also charged in the conspiracy and convicted were Ravinder Arora, Michael Bagri, Parminder Sidhu, Alvin Randhawa, Gursharan Singh, and Huy Hoang Nguyen.

The defendants fabricated false compartments in the floors of tractor-trailers.

Here’s some more detail: “Dhaliwal and others purchased steel tubing, kick plates and other supplies to fabricate the false compartments in several tractor-trailers. In addition to cocaine, the tractor-trailers were used to transport ecstasy and hundreds of pounds of marijuana into the United States from Canada.”

Ledgers were also seized, which said that from 2009 to 2010, there were approximately a dozen smuggling trips, where about 1,617 kilograms of cocaine were transported from the United States, through the Western District of New York, into Canada.

"Today's sentencing is a significant development in a years-long investigation that resulted in significant seizures of narcotics, weapons and arrests in the U.S. and Canada," said ICE-HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly. "Transnational investigations like this one help ensure that our shared border with our Canadian partners remains transparent to law enforcement and simultaneously a hindrance to criminal groups."

Forty-seven-year-old Dhaliwal was sentenced on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. He’ll be about 67 years old upon release.

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