A 35-year-old Montrealer was convicted of importing and attempting to traffic 64 kilograms of cocaine on Wednesday afternoon at the Montreal courthouse.
Tudor Donciu was arrested on April 2, 2019 by investigators from the Joint Organized Crime Investigation Unit (UMECO) of C Division (Quebec) of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
He and an accomplice, Patrick Simionescu, had just unpacked merchandise which they thought was drugs, but which the sleuths had replaced with brown sugar.
It was Border Services agents who first discovered the drugs on March 28 hidden in shelf drawers that arrived in a container that had traveled on a ship from Veracruz, Mexico.
After being tipped off by their customs colleagues, RCMP investigators took possession of the drug and replaced it with brown sugar. They then installed a new seal on the container and equipment to track it remotely, intercept conversations and know when and where the container would be opened and closed.
On April 2, the container left Boucherville on board a truck and was delivered to a building on Saint-Urbain Street in Montreal. Federal investigators, who were monitoring the place, then saw the accused and his accomplice arrive at the scene.
Soon after, they learned from their fellow technicians that the container had been opened and closed, and immediately arrested the two suspects.
The judge didn’t believe him
At the time of his arrest, Donciu was in possession of two phones which were analyzed by the RCMP and in which incriminating text messages were found.
During his trial, Donciu testified that he was importing illegally obtained goods, but not drugs. He added that he believed the merchandise received that day was tobacco and that he should be paid $500.
Under cross-examination, Donciu refused to give the surnames of certain individuals with whom he spoke before his arrest. He also said that, after his provisional release, he received visits from two individuals who allegedly threatened him and his family.
In his judgment, Judge Pierre Dupras of the Court of Quebec wrote that the accused lied during his testimony, and that his testimony and the evidence show “that the interest of the accused went much further than the resale of bulk” and that we highlighted “the portrait of a person experienced in drug trafficking”.
Judge Dupras therefore found Donciu guilty of importing cocaine and possessing cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.
Sentencing will take place on April 25.
His accomplice, Patrick Simionescu, 29 from Laval, pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking and was sentenced to 42 months in prison in July 2021.
To reach Daniel Renaud, dial 514 285-7000, ext. 4918, write to [email protected] or write to the postal address of The Press.