Quebec's Jimmy Cournoyer, 34, has been dubbed "The King of Pot," and is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to drug trafficking in the United States. And he's trading in his defense attorney for a former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight titleholder.
None other than his "good friend," Georges St. Pierre.
"Rush" sent a letter of support for Cournoyer, in an attempt to elicit leniency from the judge. While it's not uncommon to have characther witnesses lend their voice to folks facing hard time, it's unusual to have one of such notoriety. After all, St. Pierre is a two-time recipient of Canada's "Athlete of the Year" award.
Excerpts from his court letter (via Montreal Gazette):
"My name is Georges St-Pierre, world UFC champion. I am writing this letter regarding my really good friend Jimmy Cournoyer... Jimmy became like a brother to me. We traveled together, we trained together, we were going to restaurants, clubs and having a lot of fun. Jimmy is a very loyal friend who I respect very much. I've never judged Jimmy. Actually, what he was doing (with) his life wasn't any of my business. We have a very human relationship; we share the same passions, which is sport fitness and martial arts. His mental toughness will help him go through this very hard ordeal in his life. Jimmy is a very positive and strong person and I am sure he will learn huge lessons about all that. I am giving a lot of support to Jimmy because he deserves it. I told him last time I visited him that when he comes out of jail, I will have a place for him in my surroundings."
St. Pierre first met Cournoyer at a restaurant in 2009, according to the report, and later traveled with him to Ibiza, an island in the Mediterranean Sea.
While on the surface a cannabis conviction doesn't sound all that terrible, it should also be noted that Cournoyer has been in trouble with the law as far back as 1998 for ecstasy, cocaine, firearms, and money laundering. In addition, he's been linked to the Bonanno crime family, the Hells Angels motorcycle club, and the Sinaloa Mexican drug cartel.
And that doesn't include his conviction for witness tampering/coercion in which he established a $2 million "hit fund" to snuff out anyone looking to rat him out in court, according to FOX Sports.
Sounds like a swell guy.
St. Pierre -- who already made a pair of trips to the big house (maybe that was the "dark place" he went to) -- is urging the judge to hand down a minimum sentence of 20 years, which would be quite the break for Cournoyer, who faces up to life in prison. We'll see what impact that letter has -- if any -- in the coming days.