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Contraband
09/25/2009

Canadian sentenced to 30 months in prison for marijuana smuggling

SEATTLE - A Canadian man who smuggled 450 pounds of marijuana into the United States by boat was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

On June 3, 2006, Robert James Peterson, 42, of Victoria, British Columbia, and another man left Vancouver Island and crossed the Strait of Juan de Fuca on a 22-foot boat. They landed on a beach on San Juan Island in Washington.

Once they were on land, ICE agents observed the two men unloading 11 nylon hockey bags that were later found to contain marijuana. Once they unloaded the bags, they returned to Canada where law enforcement authorities saw them come into a marina on Vancouver Island.

The bags left by Peterson were loaded into a white van driven by Canadian Marc Georg. The van was later stopped and the marijuana was seized by law enforcement.

"Drug smuggling is a serious crime that is motivated by greed and disregard for the law," said Brad Bench, acting special agent in charge of ICE's Office of Investigations in Seattle. "ICE will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to bring individuals who violate drug trafficking laws to justice."

In 2006, Peterson pleaded guilty to marijuana importation conspiracy charges. Marc Georg was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for his role in the smuggling conspiracy.

ICE was joined in this investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).