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Contraband
05/02/2008

Canadian citizen admits involvement in marijuana trafficking ring

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Nora R. Dannehy, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced today that George Tsellos, also known as "Marco," 38, of Saint Laurent, Quebec, last residing in Norwalk, Connecticut, pleaded guilty yesterday, May 1, before United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to one count of conspiracy to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana and one count of conspiracy to smuggle bulk cash out of the United States.  ICE, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Greenwich, Stratford, Stamford, Norwalk, and Naugatuck police departments investigated this case.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, Tsellos is a member of a drug trafficking organization that was responsible for arranging shipments of high-quality hydroponic marijuana from Canada for redistribution around southwestern Connecticut.  The investigation revealed that Tsellos assisted in the trafficking of approximately 30 pounds of marijuana per month at a wholesale cost of approximately $4,000 per pound, and routed the proceeds of the marijuana distribution back to Canada or to other points.

Tsellos is scheduled to be sentenced on July 16, 2008, at which time he faces a mandatory minimum term of five years imprisonment, a maximum term of 40 years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $2,250,000.  Tsellos has been detained since his arrest on Nov. 9, 2007.

This matter is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys H. Gordon Hall and Harold H. Chen of the Office's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.