NEW YORK, N.Y. – A Canadian drug kingpin who was one of New York’s biggest marijuana suppliers and was dubbed the Pot Playboy was sentenced to 27 years in prison for leading a $1 billion international drug trafficking enterprise, prosecutors said.
Jimmy Cournoyer pleaded guilty in May 2013 to charges including money laundering and conspiracies to manufacture and distribute marijuana and cocaine. The 34-year-old Quebec native, from Laval, just outside Montreal, was sentenced Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court.
Cournoyer’s Montreal-based organization had ties to organized crime and drug cartels, prosecutors said. Proceeds financed a lifestyle that included a supermodel girlfriend and a super-expensive car, the Bugatti Veyron, and Cournoyer hobnobbed with celebrities.
Cournoyer had a $2 million hit fund to punish those who co-operated with the government, and he had tried to threaten witnesses, authorities said.
He was arrested in 2012 while attempting to enter Mexico and was transferred to New York, where prosecutors said he sold marijuana smuggled in from Canada.
“His territory — all of North America. His goal — to extend the deadly narcotics trade as far as he could,” the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta Lynch, said after Cournoyer’s plea.
The marijuana was grown in British Columbia and was taken to Quebec, and cocaine from Mexico was smuggled into Canada.