Transport driver caught with cocaine sentenced to seven years

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A Quebec trucker caught smuggling 80 kilograms of cocaine into Canada at the Ambassador Bridge was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison, halving his possible sentence after agreeing to testify against other alleged actors in a drug smuggling operation. drug.

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Gurinder Singh, 29, was sentenced to seven years in prison less 45 days in pretrial detention, Superior Court Judge Renee Pomerance said Friday.

As previously reported by the Windsor Star, Singh, a transport truck driver originally from LaSalle, Quebec, was charged with importing a controlled substance in connection with a seizure of 80 kilograms of cocaine on July 30, 2019 in inside Singh’s truck. A Canada Border Services Agency dog ​​sniffed out the illicit cargo as Singh attempted to enter Canada. Singh pleaded guilty last year.

A second count of possession for the purpose of trafficking was dropped on Friday.

With Singh acting as what Pomerance called a “cogwheel in the criminal wheel”, he received a reduced sentence based on the strength of his anticipated testimony against people allegedly higher up in the criminal operation, a factor that Pomerance weighed in at length in his sentencing decision.

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“His cooperation with the authorities is clearly a mitigating factor,” Pomerance said. “The question is how far does that factor go and what is the appropriate sentence in this case.”

Pomerance said she also weighed the need to deter others from committing similar crimes, as well as the “untold misery, addiction and death” that drugs bring to communities.

As previously reported by the Star, Singh was facing what could have been a 13 to 15 year sentence when federal drug prosecutor Stephane Marinier pleaded earlier this year for a seven to eight years given the importance of Singh’s testimony in bringing trafficking charges against three other people on trial in Toronto.

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  1. Over 210 pounds of suspected cocaine seized at Ambassador Bridge

  2. A photo of over 200 pounds of suspected cocaine in packages seized from a transport truck at the Ambassador Bridge on July 30, 2019.

    Trucker caught with 80 kg of cocaine cooperates for less prison

The cocaine was 87% pure and had a market value of $8.8 million, although Singh’s defense attorney previously told the court that his client’s promised payout was around $40,000, reported the Star. The defense had also noted during a sentencing hearing that Singh was a “minor player” in the alleged criminal organization.

The Star previously reported that defense attorney Patrick Ducharme pleaded for a five-to-seven-year prison sentence given the ‘danger’ Singh faces for testifying against other criminals in a human trafficking case. course, noting that his client would need protective custody. Attorney Evan Weber appeared on Ducharme’s behalf in court for sentencing on Friday.

Pomerance handed down a seven-year prison sentence, to be served in a jurisdiction near Montreal.

-With files by Doug Schmidt

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