A Vancouver, British Columbia, man will serve 30 months in a U.S. prison for leading a snowshoe smuggling ring that tried to bring marijuana to Washington state on treacherous mountain trails.

Richard Bafaro tearfully apologized in court Friday, saying he had been forced to pay $70,000 to drug suppliers after he lost a load of B.C. bud pot in the wilderness, which led him to smuggle more marijuana.

The 45-year-old said that on one of the trips to look for the missing pot, one of his friends was badly injured and had to be airlifted out of the Canadian forest.

Five men were arrested with links to Bafaro's operation and were sentenced to prison terms between eight months and one year. Bafaro was convicted of conspiracy to distribute marijuana.