in Forfeited United States Currency Distributed
John P. Gilbride, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration's New York Field Division and Glenn T. Suddaby, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, announced today the transfer of more than $500,000.00 in forfeited United States currency to several law enforcement agencies which participated in a recent federal bulk cash smuggling investigation and prosecution along the border between the U.S. and Canada.
During a ceremony which took place today in the Clinton County District Attorney’s Office, Plattsburgh, New York, United States Attorney Suddaby, United States Marshal James J. Parmley, and Drug Enforcement Administrator Associate Special Agent in Charge Wilbert L. Plummer distributed checks in the following amounts to the following agencies:
The United States currency distributed today was seized and forfeited from Georges Jean-Paul Therrien, who was convicted of attempting to smuggle bulk cash out of the United States and into Canada. More specifically, on November 19, 2003, Therrien was in a rental car headed north into Canada on the Bay Road in Alburg, Vermont. At that time, Canadian authorities were notified of the northbound entry. A short time later, Canadian authorities, working with members of the United States Border Patrol, intercepted Therrien’s car and informed Therrien that he had just entered Canada and he must return to the United Sates at a border crossing to report. At that time, Therrien returned to the United States and headed toward the New York border, passing at least two manned border patrol check points and searching for a way into Canada that would avoid scrutiny. Members of the U.S. Border Patrol stopped Therrien in Franklin County, and questioned him. A search of the vehicle he was driving revealed bundled boxes containing $631,940.00 United States currency. There was substantial marijuana residue found on the money and in the bag which contained the money. Members of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Clinton County District Attorney’s Office, Plattsburgh Police Department and the New York State Police assisted in the investigation, which resulted in Therrien’s guilty plea in U.S. District Court to attempted bulk cash smuggling in violation of Title 31 U.S.C. Section 5332, and the forfeiture of the $631,940.00 in United States currency.
According to United States Attorney Suddaby “the transfer of more than $500,000.00 has a direct and profound benefit for the people of Clinton County. Made possible through the vigorous enforcement of federal border and forfeiture laws; these transfers represent what can be done when law enforcement organizations join together and utilize available laws to the benefit of our community.” Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge John P. Gilbride, New York Field Division, stated: "I would like to thank the law enforcement agencies of the North Country for their unwavering dedication to the security of our border and protection of the citiizens of the area. The seizure of the money in this investigation is a direct result of close cooperation and coordination of the federal, state, county and local law enforcement agencies of this area. This money will no longer be utilized by the drug organizations for their personal gain; but instead, will now be used by area law enforcement agencies to purchase much needed equipment to help combat drug trafficking in this area."
Sharing the funds seized in this case with state and local law enforcement agencies was made possible through the federal government’s Equitable Sharing Program.