ELIZABETHTOWN -- A Malone man who ran the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint in North Hudson pleaded guilty to drug charges in federal court Thursday.

Scott L. Boyea, 45, of Malone pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Albany to possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, with the intent to distribute, before Senior U.S. District Judge Thomas J. McAvoy.

His guilty plea came after McAvoy refused to throw out the evidence in the case earlier this month.

Sentencing for Boyea is scheduled for Sept. 10. He faces a maximum sentence of five years, supervised release of up to three years and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Glenn T. Suddaby said Boyea had two duffle bags full of marijuana when he was stopped by Border Patrol agents after a chase that started on the Adirondack Northway and ended on Route 9 in North Hudson.

On the morning of Feb. 13, 2006, Boyea was driving south on the Northway when he saw the Border Patrol roadblock operational between exits 30 and 29. He then drove across the grassy median and went north in the opposite direction in the northbound lanes.

Border Patrol cars pursued Boyea and stopped him on Route 9, Suddaby said.

Present in the bed of the pickup truck Boyea was driving were two large duffle bags that contained packaged marijuana. The total weight of the marijuana, absent the packaging, was more than 20 kilograms and less than 40 kilograms, Suddaby said.

Assisting in the investigation with the Border Patrol were State Police and the Essex County Sheriff's Department.

The case was originally prosecuted in Essex County Court but was later moved to federal court.

Essex County District Attorney Julie Garcia said she's pleased with the outcome.

"We'll continue to aggressively prosecute drug dealers who are running drugs through our county. We appreciate all of the work the U.S. Attorney's Office put into prosecuting this case on the federal level."

lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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