MALONE A Malone man faces up to life in prison after being found guilty Thursday in federal court of distributing more than a ton of marijuana smuggled from Canada into the United States through the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation.
Allan Peters, 42, address not available, was convicted following a four-day trial in U.S. District Court, Syracuse, of conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. In addition to a prison term of up to life, he faces a fine of up to $10 million at sentencing July 10.
According to the U.S. attorneys office, evidence at the trial showed that from at least 2005 through 2011, Mr. Peters, along with many others, smuggled thousands of pounds of marijuana into the United States and sent millions of dollars in drug proceeds back to Canada. Prosecutors said the conspiracy participants used property controlled by Mr. Peters in Snye, Quebec, which is part of the reservation, as a staging area for the hockey bags filled with marijuana to be smuggled into the United States. The bags typically contained 100 to 200 pounds of the drug, according to prosecutors.
The U.S. Border Patrol seized about 250 pounds of marijuana from the smuggling organization on May 8, 2009, in North Hudson, Essex County, and Mohawk tribal and state police seized about 240 pounds of marijuana Sept. 15, 2010, after a high-speed chase from the reservation to Malone. Also, tribal police and Border Patrol agents seized about 100 pounds on March 11, 2011, in Hogansburg.
The minimum prison sentence Mr. Peters faces is 10 years, prosecutors said.