BURLINGTON, VT. – Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced today that Marc Andre Cusson, 41, Sutton, Quebec, was sentenced to 168 months imprisonment, with credit for 70 months previously served in Canada, for his role in leading a major marijuana smuggling and money laundering scheme.
From 1998 to his arrest in July 2002, Cusson led an organization that smuggled tons of high grade Canadian marijuana from Canada into the United States and smuggled millions of dollars of U.S. currency into Canada as payment for the drug proceeds. Numerous conspirators were prosecuted both in the United States and Canada for their roles in the scheme. Because Cusson was one of the leaders of the organization, the United States sought his extradition from Canada which Cusson fought for eight years.
Cusson was ultimately extradited to the United States in March 2010 on two counts of attempted money laundering after serving time in Canadian prison for charges related to his Canadian crimes. Cusson pled guilty to money laundering in December 2010. Judge William K. Sessions III imposed the sentence which will add approximately eight more years onto the time Cusson will serve for running his criminal enterprise. Cusson will also be on supervised release for an additional two years after serving his time in prison.
Because Canada only extradited Cusson on money laundering charges, the marijuana smuggling charges – which include a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence – remain pending. Should Cusson be arrested in the United States or outside of Canada in the future, he could face trial on those charges.
The case was the result of a two-year investigation combining the efforts of DEA, ICE and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Over thirty defendants were convicted for their involvement in the scheme in the United States and Canada. Over two and a half million dollars in currency and assets were seized in the United States and Canada. Cusson is represented by Rick Goldsborough, Esq.
The U.S. Attorney wishes to commend especially DEA Agent Richard M. Carter as well as Assistant United States Attorney Eugenia Cowles for their outstanding work on this case.