BANGOR, Maine — A Canadian couple arrested in January who admitted to smuggling hun-dreds of pounds of marijuana across the border and deliver-ing it to out-of-state customers were sentenced Wednesday to about two years in federal prison.
Andy Michaud, 29, was sen-tenced to 27 months. His girl-friend and co-conspirator, Yvonne Katherine Byram, 44, was sentenced to 20 months. Both lived in Notre Dame de Lourde, New Brunswick.
U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also sentenced the pair to three years of super-vised release after they have completed their prison terms. Most likely, each will be re-turned to Canada and barred from re-entering the United States after being released.
Byram waived indictment and pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute marijuana. Michaud waived indictment and pleaded guilty to the same charge in April. Both have been held without bail since their arrests. They are expected to be credited with time served.
Both faced a minimum sen-tence of five years and a maxi-mum of 40 years in prison along with a fine of up to $2 million. Under the federal sentencing guideline range, according to court documents, Byram, a sin-gle mother of two, faced be-tween 30 and 37 months in fed-eral prison.
Documents sealed by the judge until the end of January 2009 might explain why they received lesser sentences than the mandatory minimum or sentences within the guideline range.
Michaud and Byram were stopped on Jan. 6 by U.S. Bor-der Patrol agents who were working near Caswell after discovering evidence of unau-thorized crossings in the area. Agents followed a Mazda pickup to Limestone after it was spotted driving up and down a road along the border with just the driver inside, but later, with a passenger.
Although both defendants first told investigators that they had crossed the border legally at Van Buren, Michaud had fresh, unmelted snow on his pants and at his feet, according to court documents. The agent also saw two backpacks and unmelted snow in the backseat.
Both later admitted that they had been smuggling marijuana across the border for four or five months. Michaud would pick up the marijuana packed in hockey bags or backpacks and walk into Maine at wooded areas along the border. Byram would cross into the U.S. legally in the truck and pick him up.
Michaud told agents that he and Byram several times had delivered 100-pound loads of marijuana to customers in New York and Rhode Island. He also said they delivered 10-pound packages to Maine customers.
When they were arrested, po-lice recovered about 10 pounds of marijuana.