Fort Erie across the Peace Bridge into the United States.
Credits: MIKE DIBATTISTA /NIAGARA FALLS REVIEW/QMI AGENCY
The announcement came Wednesday afternoon after Purdie, 41, of Fort Erie, appeared in front of U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara in Buffalo.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 28 in a Buffalo court.
Assistant U.S. attorney Mary Catherine Baumgarten said while employed with the NRP, Purdie, a decorated 13-year veteran who received a chief’s commendation in 2007 and has helped raise money for Ronald McDonald House, entered the United States on several occasions in November and December of last year and retrieved packages containing steroids that had been shipped to a business in the U.S.
On April 5, the border enforcement security unit of Homeland Security seized $580,000 of testosterone, steroids, Valium, Xanax and growth hormones in Buffalo. Purdie was originally charged with conspiracy to export controlled substances with intent to distribute them.
“It is particularly egregious when a member of law enforcement violates his oath of office in order to engage in international criminal activity,” U.S. Attorney William Hochul Jr. said in a press release.
“Such conduct will continue to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
When travelling across the border, Purdie presented his official identification as a law enforcement officer to immigration agents in order to return to Canada.
“The defendant used his position to smuggle illegal contraband into Canada for his own financial gain,” said James Spero, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations Buffalo. “Citizens of the United States and Canada need to know that they can count on law enforcement to do the jobs they entrust us to do each day. The defendant breached that trust and will be held accountable.”
The plea is a culmination of an investigation by organizations on both sides of the border.