BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced the arrest of three Niagara Falls residents Friday, after they allegedly tried to smuggle over 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States from Canada.
Police say 38-year-old Curtis Nalls, 34-year-old John Banks, and 32-year-old Cassondra McDougald, of Niagara Falls were involved in drug trafficking and smuggling activity from Canada from November 2016 to July 2017.
It's alleged that between July 28, 2016, and July 25, 2017, all three worked individually and together, to organize and transport marijuana through the Rainbow Bridge about 39 times, each time carrying approximately 10 to 30 pounds or drugs with them.
On Tuesday, police learned that McDougald traveled to Canada and back to the United States. They followed McDougald to her home on Cudaback Avenue in the Falls.
That same day, United States Probation Officers approached Nalls and Banks who were traveling in a vehicle on Packard Road in Niagara Falls. Officers noticed that the passenger side door panel of the vehicle had been removed, revealing black and blue taped bundles in the natural void of the door.
During the searches, officers seized 30 bundles of suspected marijuana, a quantity of loose, suspected marijuana, two suspected marijuana plants, $22,061 in cash, two pistols with magazines, ammunition, and a Hydraulic press.
Banks, Nalls and McDougald were arrested and charged by criminal complaint with conspiracy to smuggle over 100 kilograms of marijuana into the United States from Canada. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40 years, and a $4,000,000 fine.