ALBANY – An Ottawa man awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to possessing 128 pounds of a drug known as “molly” he carried into the U.S. at an Akwesasne border crossing.
Joel Cunningham, 30, pled guilty today in Albany before United States District Court Judge Glen T. Suddaby to one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.
He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and is being detained pending his sentencing.
During the plea proceeding, Cunningham admitted that he loaded a sport utility vehicle with 58,183 grams of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine Hydrochloride (commonly known as “molly” last April 9 and then drove the vehicle from Canada into the United States through an unmanned border station, intending to take the drug to New York City for redistribution.
A news release from the U.S. Attorney said Cunningham was observed entering the United States from Canada through an unmanned border crossing in the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation. Members of the Border Enforcement Security Task Force in Massena followed him and later stopped him.
Law enforcement officers searched the vehicle and found the drug and over $140,000 in U.S. currency in hidden compartments and duffel bags.
Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 7 in Albany.
The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.