MASSENA A Montreal man was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court, Albany, to 1½ years in federal custody for having more than 100 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle when it was halted on Route 37 in 2011.
Daniel Frenette, 38, was also ordered to undergo two additional years of supervision upon his release from prison after pleading guilty Oct. 11 to possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.
According to a plea agreement filed with the court, Frenette admitted that some time before February 2011 he was recruited to work as a courier for a large-scale drug trafficking organization operating in Northern New York and Canada.
The central purpose of the organization was to smuggle large quantities of marijuana into the United States from Canada and then distribute the drug to wholesale marijuana dealers throughout the east coast of the United States.
The plea agreement shows that Frenette entered the United States through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation without being inspected at a designated port of entry in a vehicle loaded with 48 kilograms, or about 105 pounds, of marijuana in it.
After entering the country, he drove along Route 37 before being stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. According to court documents, the vehicle was stopped because it was a rental and had an unusual New York Yankees license plate bracket, which attracted agents suspicions.
Frenette told an agent he was driving from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino to Potsdam, but couldnt identify any friends he claimed to be visiting there, court records say. A K-9 dog found the marijuana in the trunk. The marijuana was inside three large hockey-equipment bags.
Upon his release from custody, Frenette will face deportation proceedings.