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Canadian man tried to smuggle more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana to the United States, feds say

Members of the Clovis, N.M., Police Department's Special Weapons and Tactics team handcuff a U.S. airman during a hostile threat exercise at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., June 20, 2012. (Airman 1st Class Eboni Reece/U.S. Air Force)

A 27-year-old Canadian man has been arrested after trying to smuggle 30 hockey bags of vacuum-sealed marijuana into the United States, according to a news release from federal prosecutors.

Xiao Liu was charged with possessing 100 kilograms or more of marijuana with the intent to distribute and importation of marijuana into the United States, federal prosecutors said.

If convicted, Liu could face a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Liu was arrested on Monday after being stopped at the Peace Bridge Port of Entry, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York.

He was driving a commercial truck and told Customs and Border Patrol officers that he was hauling a shipment of wax, prosecutors said. The officer asked Liu to open the sleeper cab curtain, but Liu did not open the curtain all the way, according to prosecutors.

After the officer asked Liu to open the curtain more, Liu complied and the officer saw black hockey bags that filled the sleeper cab from the floor to the ceiling, prosecutors said.

Liu told the officer the bags belonged to a friend and that he was taking them to Buffalo, according to prosecutors.

Officers then did an x-ray scan of the tractor trailer, which found “a large anomaly” in the bunk of the tractor, prosecutors said.

The officer then inspected the bunk area, according to prosecutors. When the officer walked into the area, he could smell marijuana coming from the hockey bags, prosecutors said.

He opened one bag and found vacuum sealed bags of a green leafy substance, according to prosecutors.

Officers found 30 hockey bags that had 1,139 vacuum sealed bags, prosecutors said. In all, the marijuana weighed 1,281 pounds, prosecutors said.

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