Man pleads guilty in smuggling 987 pounds of pot

Posted Jan. 13, 2009, at 9:42 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A New Brunswick man waived indictment Tuesday in U.S. District Court and pleaded guilty to smuggling nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana into Maine.

Bruno Rousselle, 35, of Tilley Road, New Brunswick, pleaded guilty to importing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana in the U.S.

He faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in federal prison as well as a fine of up to $2 million.

Under terms of his plea agreement, Rousselle will not appeal his sentence to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unless it is longer than five years.

Rousselle crossed the border alone at Houlton about midnight on Oct. 16, according to court documents, driving a tractor-trailer.

He told U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents that he was going to New Bedford, Mass., to pick up a load of fish but he was unable to give them a specific address. His paperwork stated only that he was headed to the Wharf Bridge Terminal.

Border Patrol agents inspected the totes inside the trailer and found five or six bags of what appeared to be peat moss, according to court documents. In one bag, they found smaller bags containing marijuana.

Rousselle admitted that he knew the truck contained marijuana and told agents that he thought he was carrying 400 to 600 pounds of the drug, according to court documents.

The bags of marijuana he was carrying totaled slightly more than 987 pounds, according to court documents.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Rousselle will remain jailed in Maine until his case is resolved.

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