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LOCAL MERCHANTS INDICTED FOR DISTRIBUTION OF DESIGNER DRUGS

July 10, 2013

Little Rock - Christopher R. Thyer,United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, and William J. Bryant, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Little Rock District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), announced today that seven individuals were indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with Project Synergy, the largest-ever coordinated law enforcement strike against designer drugs. The indictment charges Amjad Kattom, age 36; Sahar Kattom, age 34; Yousef Qattoum, age 37;Abdul Aziz Farishta, age 50; Eassa Rawashdeh, age 23; Rodney Bryant, age 22; and Adam Kattoum, age 20, in Count 1 with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and analogues of controlled substances, in violation of Title 21, United States Code, Section 846. Counts 2 and 3 charge Yousef Qattoum with distribution and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue. Count 4 charges Eassa Rawashdeh with distribution and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance analogue. Count 5 charges Adam Kattoum with distribution and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and a controlled substance analogue. Count 6 charges Rodney Bryant with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Count 7 charges Amjad Kattom and Sahar Kattom with conspiracy to commit money laundering. Count 8 charges Yousef Qattoum and Abdul Aziz Farishta with conspiracy to commit money laundering. The indictment also seeks to forfeit approximately $17,338.40 in United States currency and real property of Amjad and Sahar Kattom.

The statutory penalty for conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and analogues of controlled substances and distribution and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances and analogues of controlled substances is not more than 20 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine or both, with not less than three years of supervised release to follow. The statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit money laundering is not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, or both, with not more than three years of supervised release to follow.

The investigation was conducted by the DEA - Tactical Diversion Squad composed of DEA Special Agents, DEA Diversion Investigators, and Task Force Officers from: Little Rock Police Department, Conway Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, and Pine Bluff Police Department. Also taking part in the investigation was Homeland Security Investigations; the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation Division including Task Force Officers from Benton Police Department and Pulaski County Sheriff's Office; with the United States Postal Inspectors and the Little Rock Police Department. Assisting agencies were the Arkansas National Guard; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; the United States Secret Service; the Arkansas State Police and the Arkansas Tobacco Control Board.

A indictment contains only allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

For more information on this case, see previous news release at:

http://www.justice.gov/usao/are/news/2013/June/Synergy_kattom_complaint_DEA_062613.html

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Christopher R. Thyer

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas is pleased to bring you

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