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Canadian sentenced to 15 years in prison on drug smuggling conspiracy conviction

A Canadian man who was convicted of conspiring with others to smuggle five kilograms of cocaine from the U.S. into Canada was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison by Senior U.S. District Court Judge William M. Skretny.

Parminder Sidhu, 43, of Brampton, Ont., who pleaded guilty to the charge in 2014, conspired with five other Canadians to export the drugs between 2009 and May 10, 2011, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch. In September 2010, Sidhu hired Canadian Michael Bagri to travel to California to pick up cocaine. Federal prosecutors said Bagri then hid 97 kilograms of cocaine in a false compartment in the floor of a tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer was then driven to Cheektowaga, where it was turned over to Ravinder Arora, also of Brampton, who then proceeded to Canada. At the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, Special Agents with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Patrol seized cocaine from the false compartment during a secondary inspection.

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