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Trucker admits smuggling cocaine across border

BUFFALO — A Canadian truck driver has pleaded guilty to smuggling large amounts of cocaine into Canada.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo says 30-year-old Ravinder Arora pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to conspiring to export cocaine. He faces at least 10 years in prison at his December sentencing and possibly life.

Authorities say Arora was about to cross the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge from western New York into Canada last September when his nervous demeanor led U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents to search his truck. They found more than 200 pounds of cocaine in a compartment beneath the trailer’s floor, which U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said was the largest seizure of cocaine in the history of the Western New York district.

Authorities say Arora was part of a Brampton, Ontario-based operation responsible for smuggling one and a half tons of cocaine into Canada in a two-year period. Two others await trial.

Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 20 before Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.