Associates knew him by his nicknames “Kosmo” and “Superman.” The media dubbed him the “Pot Playboy.” But on Wednesday, Jimmy Cournoyer became federal inmate 07722-379. The former Canadian kingpin, who once commanded a $1 billion international drug trafficking enterprise, was sentenced to 27 years in prison in Brooklyn federal court.
In May 2013, Cournoyer pleaded guilty to a slew of federal charges, including money laundering and conspiracies to manufacture and distribute marijuana and cocaine. The 34-year-old Quebec native, from Laval, just outside Montreal, led a life that could have been the plot to a Kevin Sutter television series. (Sutter is the mastermind behind the mind blowing Shakespearean crime epic Sons of Anarchy). Cournoyer was one of New York’s biggest marijuana suppliers who counted the Bonnano crime family, the Sinaloa Cartel, and the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang as business partners. He led a baller lifestyle that included a supermodel girlfriend, a Bugatti Veyron, and parties with Hollywood celebrities.
His empire crumbled in 2012 when he was arrested attempting to enter Mexico. In addition to marijuana he brought into New York from Montreal, Cournoyer also dealt large amounts of cocaine and ecstasy. “His territory — all of North America. His goal — to extend the deadly narcotics trade as far as he could,” the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, Loretta Lynch, said after Cournoyer’s plea. Cournoyer also had a $2 million hit fund to punish those who cooperated with the government, and he had tried to threaten witnesses, authorities said. Cournoyer and another indicted co-conspirator, John “Big Man” Venizelos, tried to intimidate a witness by letting him know they had the cash to carry out hits on snitches. According to prosecutors, “Venizelos sent an encrypted message” to a co-conspirator, warning that person “that he/she had better hope that Cournoyer or members of his organization never found out that [the co-conspirator] had spoken with law enforcement agents because Cournoyer has $2 million set aside to pay for the murder of cooperating witnesses.” Another message read: “Seriously bro. I know he has like 2 mil…just to pay guys to handle that once he sentenced,” referring to Cournoyer, according to a court transcript.