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Canadian pleads guilty to smuggling drugs across U.S. border

A Canadian man pleaded Monday guilty in U.S. District Court to charges that he conspired to export at least five kilograms of cocaine from the U.S. into Canada.

Alvin Randhawa, 35, of British Columbia, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life imprisonment, and a $10 million fine.

“This case represents a success against another major international narcotics trafficking organization — this time operating in Canada,” said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., in a statement released Monday.

Between July 2010 and May 2011, Randhawa conspired with others to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the U.S. by attempting to cross several international bridges, including ones in the Buffalo-Niagara region, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case. Investigators believe that the drug ring trafficked about 2,000 kilograms of cocaine — worth an estimated $80 million in street value. Randhawa was indicted along with Gursharan Singh and Harinder Dhaliwal. Singh has been convicted, while charges are pending against Dhaliwal.

Also charged in the conspiracy were Ravinder Arora, Michael Bagri and Parminder Sidhu, all of whom have already been convicted.

The sentencing of Randhawa will be scheduled at a later date before Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

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