News Release
Date: June 29, 2012
Contact: Rich Isaacson
Number: (313) 234-4310

International Marijuana Trafficker Sentenced in Detroit

DETROIT--The final defendant in a 16 defendant indictment charging conspiracy to import marijuana from Canada and distribute it in the United States was sentenced today in federal court, United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade, announced.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Special Agent in Charge, Erick Martinez, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Hassan Abboud, 39, of Sterling Heights, Michigan was sentenced by United States District Judge Avern Cohn to 84 months imprisonment, to be followed by four years of supervised release.

According to court records, from 2005-2009 Abboud was the leader of an international drug trafficking organization that imported thousands of pounds of marijuana from the Toronto, Canada area into the United States. Cash seizures of more than $1.8 million were seized as a result of this investigation.

The conspirators used various methods to smuggle high-quality “B.C. Bud” marijuana from the Toronto, Canada, area through metropolitan Detroit using trucks, boats and trains, according to court documents.

During the time frame of the conspiracy, Abboud was living near Toronto, Canada, where he obtained the marijuana and would direct shipments of money into Canada. Couriers were used to distribute the marijuana in metro Detroit as well as the Chicago, Illinois area.

Abboud remains in custody, where he has been since April 12, 2012. On that date, he was arrested in a personal pleasure boat in Lake St. Clair, traveling from Canada to the United States. His presence in Canada was in violation of his bond.

DEA Special Agent in Charge Corso stated that, "This investigation shows that the DEA works closely with our Canadian law enforcement counterparts in an effort to secure our northern border. This investigation, with the combined efforts of our local, federal and Canadian partners, successfully dismantled a large high-grade marijuana smuggling organization."

United States Attorney McQuade congratulated the DEA Task Force, Sterling Heights Police Department, Toronto Police Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, who were assisted by Customs and Border Protection, Macomb County Enforcement Team, the FBI, the Coast Guard and the Shelby Township Police, as well as our Canadian law enforcement partners involved in the case.