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Canadian trucker admits to possessing cocaine

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A Canadian man could face up to life in prison and a $10 million fine after admitting Friday in U.S. District Court, Utica, that he had more than 100 kilograms of cocaine in his tractor-trailer during a traffic stop on Route 11 in the town of Antwerp.

Alain Thuot, 48, Quebec, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, a charge under which sentencing guidelines call for at least 10 years’ imprisonment. Sentencing was set for Nov. 9.

Mr. Thuot’s truck was stopped Sept. 27 by a state trooper who had observed the vehicle cross the road’s center line several times.

After Mr. Thuot told the trooper he was having some mechanical problems, a member of the state police’s commercial motor vehicle unit was called to the scene to conduct a safety inspection.

During the inspection, cocaine with an estimated $4.5 million street value was found in the sleeper portion of the truck’s cab, with Mr. Thuot admitting he knew the drugs were there.

He was ordered held in federal marshals’ custody to await sentencing.

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