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Canadian man gets 10 years in prison for leading multi-million dollar marijuana smuggling operation


A 66-year-old Canadian man has been sentenced in a Central New York court to 10 years in prison for his leading role in a multi-million-dollar marijuana smuggling operation.


The U.S. Department of Justice says Thursday that 66-year-old Nicolas Varacalli of Montreal was recently sentenced in federal court in Syracuse, where he pleaded guilty last December to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance.


Varacalli was one of four Quebec men arrested by Canadian police in December 2011 and charged with running a major smuggling operation that brought thousands of pounds of marijuana into the U.S. for distribution across the Northeast. A fifth suspect was arrested in Florida.


A co-defendant, Jacques Perrault of Saint Jean Sur Richelieu, pleaded guilty last month and faces sentencing in July.

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