Canadian man sentenced in connection with trafficking more than $130 million worth of cocaine, other illegal drugs

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A Canadian man has admitted to being part of an international conspiracy that trafficked an estimated $120 million worth of cocaine into the Canada from the U.S., most of it through the Western District of New York.

Harinder Dhaliwal, 47, of Bramptom, Ontario, is was convicted of conspiracy to export from the U.S. five or more kilograms of cocaine. He was sentenced to 240 months in prison, it was announced today.

Between 2006 and May 2011, Dhaliwal conspired with others to smuggle cocaine into Canada from the U.S., and marijuana and ecstasy from the U.S. into Canada via several international bridges, including those in the Buffalo-Niagara region.

As part of his plea agreement, Dhaliwal admitted to being part of the international conspiracy, trafficked more than 3,000 kilograms of cocaine.

Through the course of the investigation, U.S. law enforcement officers recovered a combined 230 kg of cocaine. Of that amount, 123 kg- the largest seizure arising from a single investigation in the District’s history- were obtained through two separate seizures occurring at the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge and in Geneva, N.Y.

The remaining 107 kg were seized in California.

In addition, law enforcement officers seized approximately 690,000 ecstasy pills during the course of the investigation with an estimated street value of $12 million.

Also charged in the conspiracy and convicted were Ravinder Arora, Michael Bagri, Parminder Sidhu, Alvin Randhawa, Gursharan Singh, and Huy Hoang Nguyen.

According to the assistant U.S. attorney handling the case, the defendants utilized tractor-trailers that contained false compartments within the floor of tractor-trailers. Dhaliwal and others purchased steel tubing, kick plates, and other supplies to create the false compartments in the tractor-trailers.

Drug ledgers seized during the investigation detailed about a dozen smuggling trips during late 2009 to Sept. 2010, involving approximately 1,617 kg of cocaine being transported from the U.S. to Canada through the Western District of New York.

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