Feds torpedo drug smuggler using underwater Seabob-Jet in Detroit River bust!

Thanks to Detroit News for this:

DETROIT — A Canadian man who used a James Bond-style submarine to sneak cash and marijuana across the Detroit River was so good, international drug lords wanted to buy his operation, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors provided new details about the origin story of Windsor resident Glen Mousseau, an accused drug smuggler who drew international attention in June 2020 when federal agents seized his submarine and found him bobbing in the river near Detroit.

Mousseau, 49, will be sentenced Tuesday in federal court, and prosecutors have released secret details about a life of crime interrupted in June when federal agents rescued him from the river, seemingly unconscious and tethered to 265 pounds of marijuana.

He was an in-demand smuggler for U.S. and Canadian drug rings, prosecutors said, who used a fleet of Seabob-Jets to secretly haul drugs and cash across the border.

The jets are egg-shaped, Wi-Fi-equipped, electric scooters capable of propelling riders along the bottom of the Detroit River at more than 13 miles per hour in near silence and with two cameras providing lookout. Mousseau had three of the submarines, according to the government.

But his lawyer is fighting for a lesser sentence, arguing the career criminal is a devoted father who made mistakes while trying to support a family but was victimized by sinister forces.

“Mr. Mousseau was the patsy fall guy,” his lawyer, Victor Mansour, wrote in a court filing.

The Mousseau case presents a unique challenge for the government. Until pleading guilty in this case last fall, Mousseau had a spotless record in the United States, but his rap sheet in Canada spans decades and includes convictions for drugs, theft, armed robbery and assault.

Glen Mousseau, the Detroit River drug smuggler

If he had committed those crimes in the United States, the government argues, Mousseau would be facing a potential 24-year sentence. Instead, advisory guidelines call for less than six years in a U.S. prison.

“His foreign criminal history demonstrates an enduring pattern of criminal behavior,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Goulding wrote in a sentencing memorandum. “And, unfortunately, age has not mitigated the defendant’s propensity to commit crimes.”

The lengthy foreign rap sheet justifies a longer prison sentence from U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland, prosecutors argued in a court filing.

The investigation dates to last spring. Mousseau was stopped in May 2020 while driving a U-Haul truck on St. Clair Highway in China Township, Michigan 49 miles northeast of Detroit.

During the traffic stop, St. Clair County Sheriff’s deputies found a large plastic bag containing $97,080 in U.S. currency.

Mousseau “explained that he runs a smuggling ‘company’ serving three criminal organizations in the United States and Canada,” the prosecutor wrote. “The $97,080 was to be payment for 100 pounds of marijuana.”

He admitted he owned a submarine seized days earlier by U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Zug Island shoreline, according to an affidavit filed in court. Then, he explained the inner workings of the smuggling operation.

Drugs are packaged to be “neutrally buoyant and waterproof,” Mousseau told agents. A member of his smuggling team would then use the Seabob-Jet to cross the river with the drugs.

He offered to provide information about a multiple-kilogram methamphetamine shipment arriving in Metro Detroit the next day, investigators said.

Then he disappeared — and kept smuggling, according to the government.

On June 5, 2020 U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigators spotted a fast-moving boat crossing the river from Canada east of Celeron Island, south of Grosse Ile, Michigan. Investigators tried to stop the vessel and noticed two large bundles thrown over the side of the ship.

“The defendant had abandoned ship and was found seemingly unconscious in the water with approximately 265 pounds of marijuana (including packaging) attached to him with tow ropes,” the prosecutor wrote.

Mousseau was rescued and investigators weighed the drugs. The haul: 84 kilograms.

“The defendant also told agents that the group on whose behalf he had been smuggling had agreed to purchase his smuggling business,” the prosecutor wrote.

The drug dealers are not identified in court records. But prosecutors have filed several documents under seal, including a summary of the investigation.

Investigators bragged about Mousseau’s bad luck on social media, writing:

Gibraltar Border Patrol — 2 Scuba Steve — 0.”

As for the submarine, prosecutors filed paperwork to have the Bond-style gadget forfeited to the government.

The international incident represents an escalation of a criminal career that includes 47 convictions in Canada during the last 32 years, prosecutors argued.

Mousseau is a small fish deserving of only a 3 1/2 year sentence, according to his lawyer.

Mousseau was a boastful, aquatic drug mule, so insignificant that the real drug lords tossed him overboard, the attorney argued.

“He was thrown overboard for the leaders and organizers to make their getaway while Mr. Mousseau almost died in the water he was thrown into,” Mansour wrote in a sentencing memo.

In a letter to the judge, Mousseau said he is embarrassed by the crime and unwanted attention.

“I realize that my net worth to society is very little, if not a negative, and I have much guilt due to my choices,” he wrote.

Mousseau pleaded guilty to illegally entering the United States and a drug trafficking charge in October. The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

“I have done illegal things for money, and I am sorry and ashamed,” he wrote. “I want to point out to the court that I have not engaged in violence and do not condone it. I moved money and drugs. I chose an easy way to make money instead of working for it.”


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