Wrong turn into the UP leads to 3 1/2-year prison sentence

Associated Press

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. – A Canadian man who said he took a wrong turn into Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in federal prison for transporting opium paste possibly worth millions of dollars.

Abdolnasser Mahmoudikanesbi of Gatineau, Quebec, acknowledged that he was trying to transport 220 pounds (100 kilograms) of the drug. He said he got confused on a journey to western Canada and ended up on the bridge connecting Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

In a court filing, defense attorney Michael Manning said the arrest last December was the climax of a tough period for his client.

Mahmoudikanesbi wanted to resell premium cotton shipped by a friend in Iran and didn’t know until later that the container held opium paste, Manning said.

He said Mahmoudikanesbi felt “trapped” into carrying out a drug deal.

The government, however, said Mahmoudikanesbi was not a “patsy.”

“He knew all the players, including the believed-to-be leader of a multinational drug trafficking organization,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Greeley said.