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2nd big marijuana bust made at Canadian border in eight days

Jim Mone

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A citizen of India has been charged with attempting to smuggle more than 3,300 pounds (1,500 kilograms) of marijuana over the Peace Bridge from Canada into Buffalo, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

The arrest Saturday of Gurpreet Singh, 30, was the second major pot seizure at the border crossing in eight days, US Attorney James Kennedy said. Singh is accused of driving a truck hauling peat moss to Virginia with thousands of bags of marijuana hidden in the cargo.

He was indicted Tuesday afternoon on charges of unlawfully importing 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana and smuggling merchandise into the United States and was held pending a detention hearing on Wednesday. The charges carry a mandatory penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

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Singh was cooperative with investigators and there’s no proof he knew what was in the truck, defense attorney Jeremy Schwartz said.

The marijuana had an estimated value of $5 million, prosecutors said.

Customs and Border Protection Field Office Director Rose Brophy said officers have seized more than 8,700 pounds of narcotics at the crossing since March 21. On June 5, more than $2 million worth of marijuana was seized after it came over from Canada in a truck.