Posted by: Ann Corcoran | May 20, 2011

Virginia and Maryland Somalis arrested in massive international drug bust

(Cross-posted from Refugee Resettlement Watch)

Eighteen US citizens or legal permanent residents of Somali and Yemeni origin have been arrested according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office,  Eastern Division of Virginia, for an international conspiracy to transport the illegal drug, khat, into the United States and to distribute it to at least 15 states.  Hat tip: Patrick.

The next time you hear someone say, “I’m o.k. with legal immigration, it’s illegal immigration I’m opposed to,” ponder this story.   These legal immigrants hailed from Virginia, Maryland, Ohio and New York (the press release names each one).

Their ‘profits’ were sent out of the country—to terrorists perhaps?

From the US Attorney’s Office:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Eighteen individuals have been arrested for their alleged roles in an international conspiracy trafficking more than 4.4 million grams of khat throughout the United States. All 18 were taken into custody yesterday, including 10 in Northern Virginia, two in Maryland, four in New York, and two in Ohio.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John P. Torres, Special Agent in Charge for ICE’s, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Washington, D.C., made the announcement after the charges were unsealed.

According to court documents, Yonis Muhudin Ishak, a/k/a “Yunis Sheikal” and “Shak,” a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia living in Arlington, Va , is the leader of a conspiracy that allegedly uses human couriers to transport khat into the United States from England, Canada, and Holland. In addition, the alleged conspirators sent packages of khat to the U.S. via the U.S. Postal Service and delivery companies. The conspiracy would then allegedly distribute the khat, via couriers and the postal system, to at least 15 states, including California, Washington, Tennessee, New York, and the Washington, D.C.-metro area. The conspirators allegedly transmit proceeds from their drug sales to others in England, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.

Fresh khat leaves contain the drug cathinone, an addictive stimulant with effects similar to but less intense than that of methamphetamine or cocaine. Over time, the cathinone in khat leaves degrades, and the court documents allege that Ishak placed priority on ensuring the khat smuggled into the United States was fresh. He allegedly used at least 14 couriers, whom he would pay about $1,000 per trip to travel to England and return with khat smuggled in their passenger luggage. Ishak and other conspirators would use rented vehicles to provide couriers with transportation to and from the airport and designate locations throughout the United States for couriers to retrieve or ship khat to conspirators in other parts of the country. At times, Ishak is accused of suggesting that conspirators use their children as couriers to evade detection.

Read it all and check out the perps!  Maybe someone in the refugee resettlement business will recognize some of their past downtrodden kids just looking for the American Dream!

In addition here is a Reuters story on the case—they are looking at 20 years in jail (add that to the cost of the Refugee Resettlement program).    LOL!  Come to think of it, that’s a good idea, how about if the cost of imprisoning former refugees and asylees comes out of the Refugee budget!

*For new readers: We have admitted well over 100,000 Somali refugees to the US.  To check out the numbers visit this post, one of our most widely read posts over the last few years.  In FY2010 which ended September 30th the US State Department resettled 4,884 Somalis (here) to towns near you.

Also, after being closed for nearly two years, the US State Department is on the verge of resuming the fraud-ridden family reunification program that admitted as many as 36,000 Somalis fraudulently to the US between 2003 and 2008.  See the latest on new regulations, here.  The State Department has probably re-opened the program by now.

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