BUFFALO, NY — The owner of an Ontario-based trucking company has pleaded guilty to smuggling thousands of pounds of cocaine across the border into western New York in his trucks.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo says 39-year-old Parminder Sidhu of Brampton, ON, pleaded guilty to conspiracy in federal court Wednesday, according to various media outlets.
Sidhu used his trucks, which were equipped with false compartments, to smuggle more than 1,700 kgs or 3,800 pounds of cocaine into Canada, investigators claim.
Sidhu faces a minimum 10-year jail sentence, but he could also face a maximum of life in prison as well as a $10,000,000 fine. He will be sentenced in May.
Two co-defendants have been convicted of similar charges and will be sentenced in April.
According to the Toronto Star, Sidhu owned Prime 9, a trucking company, and between 2009 and 2010, moved cocaine from California to Canada via New York state on nearly a dozen trips.
“This prosecution demonstrates that American and Canadian law enforcement partners can work seamlessly together to protect the citizens of both countries,” U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said in a statement Wednesday.
Sidhu was caught on Sept. 8, 2010 when one of his trucks was stopped at the border and officials found 90 kgs of cocaine, about $4.4 million-worth on the street, hidden in his truck.
The driver, Ravinder Arora pled guilty in a U.S. federal court in 2011 to the charge of conspiracy to export cocaine and Michael Bagri, another smuggling-ring associate also from the Toronto area, pleaded guilty to the same charge in January 2012. All three men are awaiting sentencing.