January 15, 2016
Contact: Erin Mulvey
Phone Number: (212) 337-3900
Canadian Marijuana Trafficker Receives Life Imprisonment
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Michael C. “Mickey” Woods, age 45, of Cornwall, Ontario, was sentenced to life imprisonment for running a drug trafficking organization that made more than $10 million in profits in a single year. -
The announcement was made by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, Special Agent in-Charge James J. Hunt, and United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian.
Woods and co-defendant Gaetan Dinelle were convicted following a six-day jury trial in July 2015, which was presided over by Senior United States District Judge Norman A. Mordue. Judge Mordue is scheduled to sentence Dinelle on January 21.
“Today's sentencing exemplifies the common goal of U.S. and Canadian law enforcement to identify and dismantle major drug trafficking organizations responsible for fueling drug use and abuse throughout our communities,” DEA’s Hunt said. “I commend law enforcement on both sides of the border that started this extensive investigation a decade ago on a marijuana trafficker named Mickey Woods, and culminated the investigation by dismantling his $47 million dollar marijuana distribution network and a life sentence for his crimes."
The evidence at trial proved that Woods, assisted by Dinelle, ran a vast international marijuana operation from Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, which operated from at least 2005 until 2008. During the trial in federal court in Syracuse, witnesses testified that Woods procured large quantities of marijuana from his sources in Canada, and with Dinelle, arranged for it to be smuggled across the border into the United States. Couriers selected and supervised by Woods and Dinelle delivered the marijuana to buyers throughout the Eastern United States.
The prosecution of Woods, which began with an indictment in November 2008, involved the extradition of 15 people from Canada, including Woods and Dinelle, in one of the largest uses of the extradition treaty between the two countries in a single case.
“Because of the excellent and sustained cooperation among U.S. and Canadian authorities, Mickey Woods received a sentence befitting the vast drug trafficking organization that he ran,” stated U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. “This case shows how committed we are to bringing cross-border criminals to justice.”
Between 2006 and February 2008, law enforcement officers seized approximately $2 million dollars in currency representing proceeds of marijuana trafficking and approximately 400 (nearly 1,000 pounds) of marijuana from couriers working for Woods and Dinelle. Evidence during the trial included law enforcement estimates that the Woods organization distributed more than 22,000 pounds of high-grade marijuana with gross wholesale receipts of $47,300,000.
The case was investigated by DEA and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl G. Eurenius. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs Acting Associate Director, Lisa Roberts, and former International Affairs Specialist Benjamin Kurland provided significant assistance throughout the extradition stage of the prosecution.