ALEXANDRIA BAY — A New York City man, who in 2019 had nearly 400 pounds of marijuana in his townhouse as part of an alleged maritime smuggling operation, pleaded guilty Monday to first-degree criminal possession of marijuana.
En Li, 36, who had rented the townhouse at Harbor Village Villas on Anthony Street, decided to plead guilty Monday, said Kristyna S. Mills, the Jefferson County district attorney prosecuting the case. The hearing Monday was supposed to be on the validity of a search warrant issued during the investigation.
Back in 2019, a citizen in Alexandria Bay called Border Patrol agents to tell them they were concerned that there might be smuggling activity at the apartments.
An investigation revealed that a white boat with Canadian tags was pulling into Mr. Li’s rented boathouse every few days, staying for just a few minutes and then leaving.
Investigators would end up finding roughly 224 pounds of marijuana in the residence and another 169 pounds in a parked van on the property. The marijuana reportedly had a street value of more than $600,000.
The DA said Mr. Li’s job in the operation was something of a drug runner transporting the marijuana from Alexandria Bay to New York City for distribution.
Since Mr. Li pleaded guilty, he will face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and five years of probation. Mrs. Mills said she thinks it was a good deal for him.
“Based on the fact he had no record,” she said. “I think it was probably fair.”