Canadian gets life for smuggling pot to U.S.
A Canadian man has been handed a mandatory life sentence for his role in a multimillion-dollar drug-trafficking operation that smuggled thousands of kilograms of marijuana into the United States, authorities said. Michael (Mickey) Woods, 45, of Cornwall, Ont., who had been convicted following a six-day jury trial last summer, was sentenced in federal court in Syracuse, N.Y. despite objections that the punishment was cruel and unusual. The court also ordered a US$45million judgment against him. Woods, and co-accused Gaetan (Gates) Dinelle, 42, also of Cornwall, were found guilty of membership in three separate but related conspiracies, each involving a tonne or more of marijuana destined for the United States. Evidence at trial showed that Woods, aided by Dinelle, ran a vast marijuana operation out of Cornwall from at least 2005 until 2008. In all, police accused the organization of distributing about 10 tonnes of high-grade marijuana valued worth US$47.3 million at the wholesale level.