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Canadian woman sentenced to 8 years on drug charges

PHILADELPHIA – A Canadian woman was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison for illegally importing Ecstasy pills into the United States from Canada. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Tina Menard, 39, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, pleaded guilty to the charges Aug. 8, 2012. She was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Petrese Tucker.

"This sentence serves as a stern warning about the consequences awaiting those who smuggle dangerous drugs," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "Substances like Ecstasy not only pose a significant public safety risk, they also generate huge profits that are often funneled back into other types of illegal activity. That is why HSI is determined to attack and dismantle these kinds of criminal schemes."

According to court documents, Menard helped recruit and organize a group of smugglers, mostly from the Windsor-area, who imported large quantities of drugs into the United States. These drugs were manufactured in Canada by Asian drug trafficking organizations. These organizations then hired Menard and her couriers to transport the drugs to other drug dealers across the United States.

The investigation began in September 2007 when two couriers were stopped in Philadelphia and law enforcement officers seized 102,000 Ecstasy pills, which they attempted to distribute to drug dealers in Philadelphia and Boston.

The Pennsylvania State Police, Philadelphia Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Drug Enforcement Administration assisted in the investigation.

Assistant United States Attorney Robert J. Livermore, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, prosecuted this case on behalf of the U.S. government.