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'Scuba Steve' Sentenced in Drug Smuggling Case

Canadian man was found in river unconscious, tethered to 185 pounds of pot
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 3, 2021 3:23 PM CST

(Newser) – A Canadian man who was found unconscious and tethered to 185 pounds of marijuana in the Detroit River was sentenced Wednesday to about six years in a US prison. The capture of Glen Mousseau—nicknamed "Scuba Steve" by authorities—last June capped a strange few weeks in his dealings with US law enforcement. The case also revealed extraordinary steps that his smuggling operation took to move drugs and cash between the two countries, even using Seabobs, a watercraft that can propel people underwater, the AP reports. "The international nature of the smuggling here is noteworthy and in many ways more alarming than the run-of-the-mill drug distribution conspiracy," US District Judge Robert Cleland said. Mousseau was first stopped in May while driving a rental truck in St. Clair County, Michigan, and possessing roughly $100,000. The government said he confessed to being a smuggler who served various criminal groups.

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Investigators said Mousseau quickly agreed to help agents in a methamphetamine bust. But he fled a hotel and somehow dashed back to Canada. He turned up two weeks later in the overnight darkness of the Detroit River as border agents pursued a suspicious boat. Carefully wrapped packages weighing 265 pounds were tied to Mousseau, including the marijuana. "He was a mule. That’s all his participation was," defense attorney Victor Mansour said. But the government noted that Mousseau, 49, has a 32-year criminal record in Canada. Mousseau urged the judge to “see some good in me." His lawyer asked for a 3 1/2-year sentence, but Cleland chose about six years. "I have done illegal things for money, and I am sorry and ashamed. ... I have taken shortcuts and agreed to do illegal things to support my family financially," Mousseau said.

(Read more drug smuggling stories.)

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