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Former B.C. Mountie jailed in the U.S.

SEATTLE - A former Mountie from British Columbia's Fraser Valley has been sentenced to eight years in a U.S. prison for his role in a cross-border drug-trafficking conspiracy.

Rapinder Singh Sidhu, of Abbotsford, B.C., was indicted in August 2011 and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to export cocaine in October 2013.

At a sentencing hearing Friday in Seattle, Wash., U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said Sidhu desired money, wanted to be be part of a major drug conspiracy and be of use to criminals.

Sidhu left the RCMP in 2003 over his perceived mistreatment, according to court statements, and then helped a criminal conspiracy allied with the Hells Angels to bring cocaine into Canada and smuggle marijuana into the U.S.

Prosectuors say he also recruited a corrupt Canadian border guard to help get cocaine through customs checkpoints.

The investigation resulted in the seizure of more than 756 kilograms of cocaine and US$3.5 million in currency.

"This defendant betrayed his community and the law enforcement officers who risk their lives to keep us safe," said U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

"Mr. Sidhu recruited another public servant to the scheme, and used threats of violence to force others into criminal conduct. His greed led him to become a trusted member of an organized crime conspiracy who sold his specialized knowledge from years in law enforcement."

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