drug kingpin pleads guilty to trafficking marijuana


French-Canadian drug kingpin Jimmy "Cosmo" Cournoyer, 33, now faces a mandatory 20 years - with sentencing guidelines calling for life in prison - under a plea agreement reached with Brooklyn federal prosecutors.
Cournoyer began assembling a drug gang while still a teenager, authorities say - and by his late 20s had constructed an impressive $1 billion organization that spanned national borders.
His empire included alliances with New York's Bonanno crime family, the Hells Angels, Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, as well as the Mafia's Rizzuto organized crime family and the West End Gang - both feared organizations based in Montreal.
One of Cournoyer's biggest customers in New York was Bonanno crime family associate John "Big Man" Venizelos, who pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges earlier this month.
His plea agreement delivers a slightly more favorable outcome then a conviction at trial.Cournoyer admitted to a spectrum of charges, including marijuana trafficking, cocaine trafficking, money laundering and witness tampering - and agreed to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years, with federal sentencing guidelines recommending - but not mandating - life imprisonment.

Cournoyer also agreed to a $1 billion money judgment and will forfeit just under $11 million in cash seized during the probe, which was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration and police in Laval, Quebec.

FBI and NYPD organized crime investigators are searching the Queens home

FBI and NYPD organized crime investigators are searching the Queens home of the daughter of Jimmy Burke, of the Lucchese crime family, for possible human remains or other evidence in decades-old mob crimes. Burke, who is no longer alive, was accused of helping plan the Lufthansa heist at Kennedy Airport, when $5 million in cash and more than $1 million in jewels were stolen. Investigators were not saying which victim they were searching for Monday at the home on 102nd Road in Jamaica, but sources said the person was not connected to 1978's Lufthansa robbery.