News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Elk Grove Prescription Drug Dealers Indicted

Thursday, October 24, 2013





SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an indictment today, charging Elk Grove residents Farah Sarwar, 24, and Hussain, 28, with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances and 16 counts of possession with intent to distribute a variety of Schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, on August 21, 2013, law enforcement searched Sarwar and Shahzad’s home and storage unit and found nearly 90,000 pills, including Adderall, Vicodin, Oxycodone, Ritalin, Ambien, and Xanax.

U.S. Attorney Wagner stated: “The abuse of prescription drugs has led to a significant increase in deaths and hospitalizations in recent years, particularly among young people. Combatting the illicit sale of prescription drugs is a high priority in the United States Attorney’s Office.”

“The prescription medications these defendants allegedly sold are controlled for a reason - because if used improperly or abused, they can pose serious health risks,” said Daniel Lane, assistant special agent in charge for HSI Sacramento. “What’s more, the pharmaceutical products distributed by criminal organizations are often illegally imported counterfeit versions that contain unknown components or unsafe levels of active ingredients.”

This case is the product of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Assistant United States Attorney Christiaan Highsmith is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Any actual sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.




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