Member Of Albanian Drug Gang Called The “Wolfpack” Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To 135 Months In Prison In Connection With Narcotics And Firearms Offenses
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that FRANKIE FROKAJ, a leader of an Albanian drug gang called the “Wolfpack,” was sentenced today by United States District Judge George B. Daniels to 135 months in prison in connection with his role in the organization. FROKAJ pled guilty in April 2013 to one count of conspiring to distribute 1,000 kilograms and more of marijuana. All thirteen members and associates of the Wolfpack originally charged in this case in September 2012 have pled guilty, and 10 have now been sentenced to terms ranging from probation to 168 months in prison.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Today, Frankie Frokaj became the latest member of the Wolfpack organization to be punished for his role in this Bronx-based narcotics trafficking crew, whose members also illegally carried and sold dangerous firearms. All 13 defendants charged in this case have been convicted, several have been sentenced to significant prison time, and the Bronx neighborhood streets are safer as a result.”
According to the Indictment, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and statements made at various proceedings in this case:
The Wolfpack was a criminal organization composed primarily of individuals of Albanian descent that operated from at least 2008 until August 2012 in the Bronx, New York. The group planned and committed a variety of criminal acts as opportunities arose, including narcotics distribution and weapons possession. For example, the group maintained dedicated phones over which customers could order cocaine and marijuana, and coordinated the use of cars to deliver cocaine and marijuana to its customers. Members and associates of the Wolfpack used these “drug routes” to distribute at least 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and 500 grams of cocaine. The group also distributed prescription pills containing oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance.
Wolfpack members, including Christopher Nrecaj, David Nrecaj, Joseph Camaj, and FROKAJ, carried firearms in furtherance of their narcotics crimes and engaged in the sale of firearms. To date, the Government has recovered eight firearms and ammunition from members of the Wolfpack through sales involving a confidential informant and during their arrests, including:
- a Sig Sauer nine millimeter handgun, a Bushmaster rifle, a Mac 11 machine pistol, and ammunition purchased by the CI from David Nrecaj;
- a Taurus PT99 AF nine millimeter handgun and ammunition purchased by the CI from David Nrecaj and Corry Lombardi;
- two nine millimeter handguns and a pump action shotgun recovered during the course of Christopher and David Nrecaj’s arrests; and
- a .22 caliber handgun recovered during the course of Driton Haxhijaj’s arrest. Haxhijaj was found hiding in a closet, and the handgun and roughly one pound of marijuana were found in the same closet.
The Government has further recovered a bullet-proof vest, quantities of cocaine and marijuana, drug ledgers, digital scales, and other drug paraphernalia from various members and associates of the Wolfpack.
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In addition to the prison term, FROKAJ, 29 of the Bronx, New York, was also sentenced to five years of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $3,000,000.
The earlier sentencings of Wolfpack members and associates included the following:
- On December 3, 2013, Christopher Nrecaj was sentenced to 168 months in prison on narcotics and firearms charges;
- On December 3, 2013, Corry Lombardi was sentenced to 70 months in prison on narcotics charges;
- On December 3, 2013, Driton Haxhijaj was sentenced to 60 months in prison on narcotics charges;
- On August 7, 2013, Joseph Camaj was sentenced to 70 months in prison on narcotics charges;
- On August 3, 2013, Deda Frokaj was sentenced to 63 months in prison on narcotics charges;
- On April 18, 2013, George Cekaj was sentenced to 151 months in prison on narcotics charges;
The three remaining defendants are scheduled for sentencing in January and February 2014.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York City Police Department.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter M. Skinner and Rebecca G. Mermelstein are in charge of the prosecution.