Canadian man sentenced to life in prison for cross-border pot smuggling

Marijuana is photographed in Markham, Ont., on Thursday, January 7, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – An Ontario man has been sentenced to life in prison for running a multi-million-dollar drug-trafficking operation that smuggled copious amounts of marijuana across the U.S. border.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 45-year-old Michael “Mickey” Woods of Cornwall, Ont., was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Syracuse.

Woods and his co-defendant Gaetan Dinelle, also of Cornwall, were convicted in July of operating an international marijuana operation from their hometown from about 2005 until 2008.

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Prosecutors say Woods procured large quantities of pot in Canada and arranged with Dinelle to have it smuggled across the border using couriers who then delivered it to buyers throughout the eastern U.S.

Officials estimate the operation smuggled thousands of kilograms of high-grade pot worth about US$47 million.

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Dinelle is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

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