MONTREAL -- Mixed martial arts superstar Georges St-Pierre has asked a New York court to show mercy to his "really good friend" who imported more than $1 billion of marijuana into the U.S.
The former UFC world champion made his plea on behalf of Jimmy "Cosmo" Cournoyer, dubbed the "King of Pot."
Cournoyer, 34, of Laval, Que., faces a 20-year sentence following his conviction in May 2013 for importing pot into the U.S. from Quebec between 1998 and 2012.
He conspired to import cocaine into Canada, with help from the Montreal and New York Mafia as well as Mexican cartels and the Hells Angels, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Cournoyer's lawyer will use the UFC star's letter as he argues for clemency before a U.S. District Court judge in Brooklyn on Aug. 20.
St-Pierre writes that Cournoyer is "like a brother" to him and that they have trained and travelled together since 2009, including a trip to the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.
The Montreal-based fighter says he recently visited Cournoyer in his New York prison cell.
"I've never judged Jimmy," the letter reads. "Actually, what he was doing... wasn't any of my business."
The fighter known as GSP adds that "Jimmy is not a violent person" and that "he deserves to be close and live with his friends and family."
The 37-page clemency appeal includes a letter from Cournoyer's mother Linda, who says her youngest son is a "sincerely good person" who "did some bad choices."