Skip to main content
Press Release

Ten Defendants Charged in Nationwide Marijuana and Money Laundering Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Wisconsin

United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger announced today that the following ten defendants have been charged in federal court with offenses related to nationwide conspiracies to distribute marijuana and commit money laundering:





Robert K. Malkin


Oxnard, CA

Seth C. Jacobs


Alexandria, VA

Lev B. Reys


Valley Village, CA

Jason J. Malkin


Los Angeles, CA

Mohammed E. Omar


Springfield, VA

Alae Arbi


Alexandria, VA

Nahom Hagos


Alexandria, VA

Fredric H. Birault


Valencia, CA

Lachelle Cook


Milwaukee, WI


The defendants currently reside in Milwaukee, Virginia, and California. This case is a part of a long-term nationwide federal drug and money laundering investigation.   

The defendants are charged with drug and money laundering offenses, including: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.  If proven that the drug conspiracy involved in excess of 100 kilograms of marijuana, the defendants charged with drug offenses will face up to forty (40) years in prison, with a mandatory minimum sentence of five (5) years in prison.   The defendants charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering face up to twenty (20) years in prison.

Last week law enforcement officers arrested nine of the above defendants.  Seth C. Jacobs remains at large.  In addition to last week’s arrests, law enforcement officers executed  two (2) federal search warrants in Milwaukee, eleven (11 ) search warrants in Virginia, ten (10) search warrants in California, and one search warrant in Washington, D.C., targeting members of this organization.  Law enforcement recovered approximately $1.75 million in U.S. currency, two firearms, seven vehicles, marijuana, and other assets.   Approximately 125 federal, state, and local officers participated in these arrests and search warrants.

In making today’s announcement about the federal charges, searches, and arrests, United States Attorney Krueger stated:  “Drug-traffickers are motivated by money, pure and simple.  These charges reflect our commitment to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement to seize drug money and prosecute drug crimes aggressively.” 

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent in Charge Joel L. Lee stated:  “The highly successful outcome in this case came as a direct result of the tremendous partnership and teamwork shared with the Wisconsin Department of Justice – Division of Criminal Investigation and as well as contributing local counterparts.  Communities in several states to include Wisconsin are better off with the dismantling of this criminal operation.”

Milwaukee Drug Enforcement Administration Agent in Charge Paul E. Maxwell, Jr. commended the collaborative and purposeful approach by state, local and federal law enforcement.  “This investigation exemplifies multiple law enforcement agencies collaborating to fight the ongoing drug threat in Wisconsin and throughout the United States.  The Drug Enforcement Administration is committed to working with our law enforcement partners and this case is a true reflection of those partnerships,” remarked Maxwell.

“A great group effort by federal, state, local and out-of-state law enforcement agencies has led to the disruption of yet another drug trafficking organization,” said Attorney General Brad Schimel.  “We have made the community safer by working together to get drugs, guns, and money out of the hands of criminals.”

The defendants were charged after a lengthy investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice - Division of Criminal Investigation, along with the Milwaukee Police Department, North Central HIDTA, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Milwaukee Field Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Financial Investigators.  The case was also supported by the Los Angeles HIDTA, City of Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Shasta County Sheriff’s Department, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Fairfax County Police Department, Alexandria Police Department, Virginia State Police, Northern Virginia HIDTA, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.  In addition, the case was supported by the United States Attorney Offices in the Central District of California, Eastern District of Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Elizabeth M. Monfils and Gail J. Hoffman.

A criminal complaint is merely the formal method of charging an individual and does not constitute inference of his or her guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until such time, if ever, that the government establishes his or her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


#     #     #     #     #

For additional information contact:

Public Information Officer Dean Puschnig (414) 297-1700

Updated July 31, 2018