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Canadian man sentenced to 8 years in prison on drug smuggling charges

PHILADELPHIA – Following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), a Canadian man was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to import large amounts of ecstasy pills into the United States.

James Elliott, 62, of Windsor, Ontario, was sentenced Thursday in federal court to eight years in prison.

"HSI will not tolerate the illegal movement of drugs into the United States," said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "HSI stopped these criminals, who are motivated by greed, from distributing large quantities of illegal drugs in our community and endangering the welfare of our citizens."

Elliott 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 Elliott and his couriers to transport the drugs to other drug dealers across the United States. Elliott's conduct came to light in September 2007 when two couriers were stopped in Philadelphia and law enforcement officers seized 102,000 ecstasy pills which the couriers had attempted to distribute to drug dealers in Philadelphia and Boston.

Eastern District of Pennsylvania Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert J. Livermore prosecuted the case.