News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Z_CNHI News Service

October 22, 2013

Canadian claims he didn't know bag held $1 million of cocaine

SALEM, Mass. — A Canadian man admitted the arrangement was "shady" but claims he had no idea a large black bag he was delivering contained 11 kilograms - 25 pounds - of cocaine with a street value of $1.1 million.

Jason Grilli testified in Salem Superior Court on Monday that he was being paid $2,500 to pick up a bag at a hotel in Peabody, a Boston suburb, and deliver it to a truck driver in Boston who would bring it back to Canada. He is on trail on charges of conspiracy and cocaine trafficking of more than 200 grams.

Grilli, 40, who lives outside Montreal, testified he thought the bag contained money that a friend named "Benny" wanted to smuggle into Canada without declaring it. Police confronted him with the bag - with the drugs inside - in December 2011.

Attorney Michael Farrell conceded to jurors that Grilli is guilty of conspiracy to commit an unlawful act. But he argued there’s no proof that Grilli knew what was in the bag he was carrying to a rented minivan in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn in Peabody.

Farrell repeatedly called Grilli a “two-bit gofer," but prosecutor Gregory Friedholm said the story makes no sense.

Why would organized crime kingpins entrust $1 million to a man claiming to be an unemployed waiter? he asked. Why did Grilli use a fake name found in text messages exchanged among leaders of a drug organization?

“I was desperate. I needed the money,” Grilli testified, adding that he was doing what his friend told him to do.

In June, Gerardo Flores, a former staff sergeant in the Arizona National Guard, was sentenced to three years after admitting to driving from Texas to Peabody to deliver money for the deal. In July, Valentine Munoz-Torres, a Mexican citizen, pleaded guilty to a trafficking charge and received a 12-year sentence.

Julie Manganis writes for The Salem, Mass., News

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Raw: Rebel Leader Weds in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale Arizona Mom of Missing Baby Released From Prison WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues Diaz and Segel Strip Off for 'Sex Tape' More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande Chimp-attack Victim Lobbies Congress Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Children Face Deportation Without Attorneys Raw: Protesters, Israeli Security Forces Clash LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers
NDN Video
Cleveland welcomes home LeBron Houston Killer Collapses in Court When Read Capital Murder Charges for Allegedly Killing Family of Six Worst Valet Ever Wrecks $500K Lamborghini Glee Star Becca Tobin's Boyfriend Matt Bendik Found Dead in Hotel Aerial fish restocking in Utah ScarJo Channels Marilyn Monroe Obama Responds to Hecklers on Immigration Tiny Hamsters Who Ate Burritos are Back for a Tiny Hedgehog's Party Watch Kelly Ripa Get Soaked! 'Referee' Hands Out Yellow Cards for Social Faux Pas in NYC 2014 Emmy Nominees: 8 Snub Shockers Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino 7 Infamous Sports Blowouts Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For 'Game of Thrones' Leads 66th Emmy Awards Nominations Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity