Canadian Receives Life In Prison For Cannabis Smuggling Operation

We recently wrote about the case of two Canadian citizens who had been arrested for smuggling large amounts of cannabis into the U.S. over a period of years. The two were originally convicted by the U.S. government back in August of 2015 of running a multi-million-dollar smuggling operation where they brought cannabis from Canada into northern New York.

On January 14th, Michael “Mickey” Woods was sentenced to life in prison for his involvement in the smuggling operation. The second person involved, Gaetan “Gates” Dinelle, has just been sentenced to life in prison as well.

A six-day trial was held where fifteen people were extradited from Canada to the US. The jury found both Woods and Dinelle guilty for participating in a smuggling ring from 2005 to 2008, where they both profited around 10 million dollars from their operation.

Albert Millus, Woods’ attorney, argued against the life sentence by expressing a lack of direct evidence linking both men to the operation. He says that a life sentence is excessive punishment, especially since more states are moving towards legalization. “The conspiracy involved only marijuana. Not more devastating drugs such as heroin, crack cocaine or powder cocaine” Millus said to the court. Both men plan to appeal their case.

Even though some states are becoming more cannabis friendly, it is still illegal under US federal laws and this case shows that the government will still give harsh punishments to those violating the federal law.