MASSENA A Montreal man was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court, Albany, to 1½ years in federal custody for holding more than 100 pounds of marijuana in his vehicle when he was halted on Route 37 in 2011.
Daniel Frenette, 38, also was ordered to undergo two additional years of supervision upon his release from prison. He pleaded guilty Oct. 11 to possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.
According to a plea agreement, Mr. Frenette admitted that sometime 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 organizations purpose was to smuggle large marijuana shipments into the United States from Canada and then distribute the drug to wholesale dealers up and down the East Coast.
The plea agreement states that Mr. Frenette entered the United States through the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation without being inspected at a designated port of entry. His vehicle contained 48 kilograms, or about 105 pounds, of marijuana.
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.
Mr. Frenette told an agent he was driving from the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino to Potsdam. But he could not identify any friends he claimed to be visiting there, court records say. A K-9 dog detected the marijuana in the trunk inside three large hockey-equipment bags.
Upon his release from custody, Mr. Frenette will face deportation proceedings.