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Man gets probation for smuggling pot across US-Canada border

November 20, 2021 GMT

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A Vermont man who authorities say participated in a scheme that illegally moved hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Canada into the U.S. by using snowmobiles to haul it across a frozen border lake has been sentenced to probation, federal prosecutors said.

Jack M. Cohen, 36, of Hyde Park, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Burlington to time served of one day and three years of probation, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Vermont.

Cohen was arrested in the border community of Canaan on March 24 by a U.S. Border Patrol agent with 272 pounds (123 kilograms) of packaged marijuana in duffel bags in the bed of his truck, prosecutors said.

Cohen had just left an unoccupied camp along Lake Wallace, also known as Wallace Pond, where he had met others who had used snowmobiles towing sleds to carry the marijuana from the Canadian side of the lake to the American side, prosecutors said.

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He had made at least two previous trips to the camp to bring pot across the border, for a total of about 882 pounds (400 kilograms) of marijuana, prosecutors said.

Cohen pleaded guilty to importation into the U.S. of more than 50 kilograms of marijuana.

“Cross-border smuggling by organized criminal enterprises and their clandestine exportation of large quantities of cash compromises our national security and undermines our relations with international partners,” acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt said in a statement.