A truck driver who was arrested in a US$20 million marijuana bust at the Peace Bridge Cargo Facility in Buffalo, N.Y., last month has been freed and returned to Canada, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western New York said Monday.
Prabjot Nagra, 26, was arrested June 25 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers intercepted 4,300 kilograms of marijuana hidden in storage containers in his trailer as it entered the U.S. from Canada.
Nagra had been charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana in the U.S. He could have faced at least 10 years in jail on conviction.
“The charges were dismissed without prejudice in order to allow the government additional time to conduct a full forensic examination of certain electronic evidence recovered during the seizure, and to permit additional steps to be taken in this ongoing transnational investigation,” U.S. Attorney James Kennedy, Jr. said in an emailed statement.
“It is expected that such further investigative efforts will shed additional light not only on Mr. Nagra’s knowledge regarding the contents of the sealed trailer he was hauling but also on the source and destination of the tons of marijuana it contained.”
Nagra, who is a citizen of India with permanent residency status in Canada, had maintained that he was not aware of the hidden cannabis.
There was no immediate comment from the CBP, which had called the interception the largest narcotics seizure recorded on the northern border in the past 5 years.
The use and possession of cannabis is legal in Canada and in some U.S. states, but it is a federal crime to transport the drug between states.
In addition, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has a zero-tolerance policy on marijuana use, whether it is legal or not.