U.S. federal agents say they can tie a Canadian man to a cross-border drug-smuggling scheme involving a submersible, after they allegedly caught him tied to 265 pounds’ worth of marijuana on the Detroit River in Michigan.
Glen Richard Mousseau, 49, of Windsor, Ont., was plucked from the river near tiny Celeron Island on June 5 after a boat chase, U.S. agents said. He was unconscious with a tow strap attached to his body, and the other end of the strap was tied to a bushel of marijuana, according to law enforcement officials.
Mousseau’s arrest is the latest turn in a bizarre cross-border smuggling case involving drugs, a submersible, a supposed “emergency funeral” and a U-Haul full of cash.
Federal agents say they’ve uncovered a smuggling ring with Mousseau’s recent arrest — his second in a month.
“Smugglers try out all means when trying to smuggle things into the United States,” Kris Groan, a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), told the Detroit News.
The case first made headlines last month, when Mousseau was arrested for allegedly hauling $97,000 worth of cash in a U-haul truck in St. Clair County, Michigan. He initially claimed he didn’t know anything about the cash, which was stashed in a large plastic bag, according to the criminal complaint obtained by the Detroit News.
Mousseau later opened up to authorities and told them that he was using a submersible to run drugs and cash between Michigan and Ontario, according to an affidavit filed in court by Homeland Security agents. He had allegedly been looking for a way to bring the cash into Ontario by coordinating with other individuals using GPS coordinates, the court documents said. He said he’d smuggled marijuana, cocaine and cash across the border several times, according to the affidavit.
He also said that a submersible seized on Zug Island on April 23 was his, and that his helpers used it to help ferry the goods across the water, according to the court documents.
After describing his operation to police, Mousseau had agreed to stay put at a hotel in Flat Rock, Mich., while the investigation unfolded, authorities said. However, he dropped out of sight on May 22 after telling hotel staff that he was stepping out for an “emergency funeral,” according to court documents. He left behind five phones, a dry suit used for diving, a Canadian passport and driver’s licence that had been reported stolen and a laptop, according to federal agents.
Fast-forward to the wee morning hours of Friday, June 5, when federal agents spotted a boat crossing the international border near Celeron Island, south of Grosse Ile. They chased the boat but stopped when they saw two large bundles fall overboard.
“While approaching the floating bundles, agents observed a man, later identified as Mousseau, unconscious in the water,” Homeland Security special sgent Christopher Leonard wrote in the affidavit.
They pulled the man out of the water, then tugged on the tow strap attached to his body and hauled up about 265 pounds of marijuana.
Mousseau appeared in court on Friday to face drug possession, smuggling and immigration charges. He could spend up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
He was held without bond and slated to appear in court again on Tuesday.
His court-appointed lawyer has not commented on the case.
—With files from The Associated Press