But the Quebec man’s daring theft fell short after police were tipped off and he and his accomplices landed in jail.
Now, the ringleader behind Canada’s infamous heist has a new challenge: paying his victims C$9m (US$7m) or serving six more years in jail.
Knowing the barrels in the strategic reserve were inspected only once a year, the thieves replaced the syrup with water.
The theft led to police raids in New Brunswick, Ontario and south of the border in Vermont and New Hampshire.
They also seized two forklifts, tanker trucks used to transport the stolen product and four huge kettles used to boil the syrup down.
The judge, Raymond Pronovost, fined him C$9.4m, based on the value of the syrup he was able to sell.
At his hearing, Vallières told the board he “saw a guy get killed over a pear – a fight over a pear”. »