Pubdate: Wed, 25 Feb 2009
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Author: Ian Austin


Cops Arrest 10 Alleged Smugglers After 'Sloppy' Mistake

B.C. bud is at the centre of a colossal pot-smuggling ring just busted
in New York City.

Local hydroponic marijuana -- now recognized worldwide as some of the
most potent available -- was allegedly smuggled from Quebec into New
York to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars over the past six

U.S. authorities allege the high-grade pot was smuggled from the
Akwesasne Reserve in Canada to the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation south
of the border.

Among the 10 suspects arrested to date, police believe the ringleaders
were Canadian David Sunday -- a 37-year-old resident of the Quebec
border town of Snye -- and American Randolf Square, a 44-year-old who
lives in the border town of Hogansburg, N.Y.

Sunday is no stranger to the law. In April 2007 he was indicted along
with 14 others on charges of pot-trafficking in upstate New York.

U.S. federal agents monitored the group's activities for two years,
and a federal official said a mistake by alleged drug-runner Mersim
"Merv" Kolenovic broke the case.

"His sloppiness led to this bust," said the official, who asked for
anonymity. "He was driving with a suspended licence while carrying
nine pounds of pot."

That was just the tip of the iceberg, said the federal official. "This
will go down in history as one of the biggest pot busts ever," he said.

"These guys were doing it very big. The street value of what we seized
is $150 million."

Sunday and Square face the most serious charges of running a
"continuing criminal enterprise," a racketeering statute that's
generally used to prosecute organized-crime rings.

The eight other suspects were indicted on charges of money-laundering
and conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
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