A 43-year-old Canadian trucker was sentenced Friday in federal court in Seattle to three years for trying to smuggle over $2 million in cocaine into Canada from the United States. Sukhvinder Shoker was arrested after custom officials discovered false walls of his truck filled with 76 kilos of cocaine in October of 2009.
Read the complete news release issued from the U.S. Attorney’s Office on Friday:
SUKHVINDER SHOKER, 43, from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to three years in prison and three years of supervised release for Conspiracy to Export Cocaine. SHOKER was arrested October 10, 2009, as he attempted to cross into Canada from the U.S. at the Pacific Highway Port of Entry. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Marsha J. Pechman noted that SHOKER’s criminal activity was an aberration in an otherwise law abiding life.
According to records filed in the case, when SHOKER’s moving truck was inspected, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers discovered false walls filled with 76 kilos of cocaine. The cocaine had an estimated street value of $2.28 million.
While acknowledging that SHOKER had a limited role in the drug conspiracy, Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell urged a significant sentence. “Given the recent violence in Canada as a result of the drug trade, Defendant’s conduct had the potential to compromise the safety and security of others in his community,” Mr. Cornell wrote to the court.
“There is no honor in living a lifestyle of drug trafficking and deception with the hope of turning a personal profit,” said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE’s Office of Investigations. “ICE maintains its resolve to investigate, apprehend, and bring to court those who participate in this type of border crime.”
In his statement to the court SHOKER claimed it was the hardships of the recession that got him involved in the criminal scheme. He said his business is ruined, and he may have to declare bankruptcy. Speaking through tears SHOKER said he had always taught his children to avoid drugs, and now he is convicted of a drug related offense.
The law enforcement agencies involved in the case include Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Adam Cornell. Mr. Cornell is a Deputy Snohomish County Prosecutor specially designated to prosecute drug case in federal court.