Press-Republican

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May 3, 2014

Four men sentenced for drug smuggling

PLATTSBURGH — Three Canadian men and a Malone man were sentenced in federal court to prison time in two separate marijuana-trafficking cases.

Alain Forget, 43, of Malone pleaded guilty in February 2012 to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a federal felony, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nicholas Varacalli, 66, pleaded guilty to the same charge in December 2013, as did one of his accomplices, Jacques Perrault, more recently.

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby sentenced Forget to five years and 10 months in prison. As part of his sentence, he will serve four years of post-release supervision after his release.

Varacalli was sentenced to 10 years in prison and five years of supervised release following incarceration, the release said.

GENERATED MILLIONS

Varacalli helped smuggle more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana into the United States, and Forget imported more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, the Justice Department said.

Forget and Varacalli played key roles in international drug-smuggling organizations designed to import thousands of pounds of marijuana into the United States, the release said, and both operations generated millions of dollars.

Their cases are not connected, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Plattsburgh.

TRAFFICKING ROUTES

Varacalli transported marijuana from as far away as Churubusco across Lake Champlain at Rouses Point and through Vermont.

His charges covered the time between 2005 and February 2011.

Forget smuggled marijuana south from the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe area, with the narcotics usually transported via Interstate 87.

He was charged for crimes committed in 2008 and until around the time of his arrest in September 2010.

JOINT EFFORT

Denis Vachon assisted in the operation that Varacalli and Perrault were involved in, coordinating the delivery of the drugs and communicating with dealers in the United States to arrange shipments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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