A Cornwall man was sentenced to life in prison a week after his codefendant also got life for running a drug trafficking organization that made more than $10 million in profits in a single year.
Gaetan “Gates” Dinelle, 42, of Cornwall, Ont., was sentenced in federal court Thursday to life in prison after Michael C. “Mickey” Woods of Cornwall was sentenced to life, each for his participation in operating a vast international marijuana operation from Cornwall from about 2005 until 2008.
Both men were convicted following a six-day jury trial in July 2015.
During the trial in federal court in Syracuse, witnesses testified that Woods procured large quantities of marijuana from his sources in Canada, and with Dinelle, arranged for it to be smuggled across the border into the United States. Couriers selected and supervised by Woods and Dinelle delivered the marijuana to buyers throughout the Eastern United States, according to the sentencing announcement from the court.
The prosecution of Dinelle, which began with an indictment in November 2008, involved the extradition of 15 people from Canada, including Woods and Dinelle, in one of the largest uses of the extradition treaty between the two countries in a single case.
“Gaetan Dinelle supervised a massive drug trafficking organization and, like his boss, Mickey Woods, was sentenced accordingly,” stated U.S. Attorney Richard S. Hartunian. “Our resolve to bring cross-border criminals to justice is reflected in this lengthy and successful case, which is the product of great cooperation between agencies on both sides of the border.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said, “Two defendants, Mickey Wood and Gaetan Dinelle, were both sentenced to life imprisonment within a week apart. These sentencings are indicative of the successful law enforcement collaboration entailed with the dismantlement of Mickey Woods’ multi-million dollar marijuana trafficking ring that operated on the Northern Border. I commend our Canadian, federal, state and local counterparts who worked on this investigation.”
Between 2006 and February 2008, law enforcement officers seized approximately $2 million dollars in currency representing proceeds of marijuana trafficking and approximately 400 kilograms, nearly 1,000 pounds, of marijuana from couriers working for Woods and Dinelle, the statement said.
Evidence during the trial included law enforcement estimates that the Woods organization distributed more than 22,000 pounds of high-grade marijuana with gross wholesale receipts of approximately $47 million.
This case was investigated primarily by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigations, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carl G. Eurenius. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs Acting Associate Director, Lisa Roberts, and former International Affairs Specialist Benjamin Kurland provided significant assistance throughout the extradition stage of the prosecution.
January 23, 2016