Cross-border drug smuggler jailed 7 years

The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. (QMI Agency file photo)

The Queenston-Lewiston Bridge. (QMI Agency file photo)

QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 7:05 PM ET

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. -- A Brampton, Ont., truck driver will spend the next seven years in a U.S. jail for his role in what officials say was an elaborate cross-border smuggling operation that netted police the largest cocaine seizure in Western New York's history.

Ravinder Arora, 33, was sentenced Wednesday to 84 months behind bars for conspiracy to export five kilograms or more of cocaine from the U.S. into Canada at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge.

According to assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Lynch, Arora attempted to cross the bridge into Canada on Sept. 8, 2010, and an inspection of his tractor-trailer revealed a hidden compartment underneath the floor.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and special agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement discovered approximately 97 kilograms of cocaine an estimated street value of $3.6 million

Lynch said the drug bust is the largest narcotics seizure in the history of Western New York.

Court heard the defendant admitted to making at least four other smuggling trips between the U.S. and Canada.

The hidden compartment was also used to smuggle marijuana, ecstasy and cash into the U.S.

Officials estimate more than 1,600 kilograms of cocaine was smuggled into Canada and a quantity of marijuana and ecstasy was smuggled into the U.S. via international bridges in the Niagara region.


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