A Canadian man who unlawfully imported pseudoephedrine from Canada into the United States and Australia during 2011 and 2012 pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Joseph Damgajian, age 42, from Laval, Quebec, Canada, was convicted of one count of using the United States and Canadian mail systems to distribute pseudoephedrine, one count of unlawfully importing pseudoephedrine into the United States, and one count of making false customs declarations to illegally import pseudoephedrine into the United States.
In a plea agreement, Damgajian admitted that, during 2011 and 2012, he was selling pseudoephedrine on the Internet. A methamphetamine lab search in July 2011 identified Damgajian as a source for pseudoephedrine, a chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine. Damgajian sold over 3 kilograms of pseudoephedrine through an online market. He hid the pseudoephedrine in vitamin bottles that he resealed in an effort to avoid the seizure of the substances by customs officials. Agents in the United States purchased pseudoephedrine from Damgajian and coordinated with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who seized additional packages of pseudoephedrine Damgajian was illegally sending from Canada to other countries, including the United States and Australia.
Sentencing before United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Damgajian remains in custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing. Damgajian faces a possible maximum sentence of 16 years’ imprisonment, a $750,000 fine, and seven years of supervised release following any imprisonment.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Patrick J. Reinert and was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Postal Inspectors, Canadian Border Services Agency, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of: the DEA; the Linn County Sheriff’s Office; the Cedar Rapids Police Department; the Marion Police Department; and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 12-CR-2035.
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