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3 Niagara Falls residents accused of smuggling marijuana across border

Curtis Nalls, 38, John Banks, 34, and Cassondra McDougald, 32, all of Niagara Falls are accused of conspiracy to smuggle more than 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States from Canada, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

Border agents in November 2016 received information that Banks and Nalls were involved in drug trafficking and smuggling activity from Canada to Niagara Falls.

Banks, Nalls and McDougald transported marijuana from Canada over the Rainbow Bridge into the United States about 39 times between July 28, 2016, and July 25, 2017, according to a federal  investigation.  Each time, they were carrying about 10 to 30 pounds of marijuana, according to the U.S. Attorney's office

Law enforcement officers learned that McDougald had traveled to Canada and back to the U.S. Officers followed McDougald to her residence on Cudaback Avenue in Niagara Falls. That same day, U.S. Probation Officers approached Nalls and Banks who were traveling in a vehicle on Packard Road in Niagara Falls. When officers approached the vehicle, they noticed that the passenger side door panel of the vehicle had been removed to reveal black and blue taped bundles inside the void of the door.

Nalls was on federal probation at the time officers approached him, which led to a search of the car and his residence, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. During the searches, officers seized 30 bundles of suspected marijuana; an unspecified quantity of loose, suspected marijuana; two suspected marijuana plants; $22,061 cash; two pistols with magazines; ammunition; and a Hydraulic press.

Nalls, Banks and McDougald appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Roemer. Nalls was detained, while Banks and McDougald were released on conditions.


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