Two Drug Dealers Sentenced to Prison for Trafficking Cocaine out of Roslindale Restaurant
BOSTON – Two men were sentenced on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, for their roles in a large-scale cocaine trafficking ring run out of a Roslindale restaurant.
Iskender Kapllani, of Dedham, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 188 months in prison and five years of supervised release, and Tony Bedini, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., was sentenced to 135 months in prison and three years of supervised release. The men were convicted following a three-week jury trial for conspiracy to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine.
A two-year investigation revealed that Kapllani, an Albanian national, used his restaurant, the Arbri Café in Roslindale, as a base for his cocaine trafficking organization. Many members of the conspiracy, including Bedini who transported large quantities of cocaine from California to Kapllani ASSOCIATES in Boston, were either from or had ties to Albania.
At trial, prosecutors introduced kilograms of cocaine seized from Kapllani; recordings of Kapllani and other members of the conspiracy; video surveillance at the Arbri Café of meetings between Kapllani and members of the conspiracy; phone, travel and financial records showing that Kapllani, Bedini and other members of the conspiracy were in regular contact; drug-related intercepts from a wiretap on Kapllani’s cellphone; and the testimony of cooperating witnesses and defendants who described how for nearly two years, Bedini and his California-based partner shipped multiple kilograms of cocaine to Kapllani and other members of his crew for distribution at the Arbri Cafe.
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, the prosecutor argued the seriousness of the offense and Kapllani’s role in managing others in the conspiracy. Judge Stearns agreed and noted: “I just add one additional thought, which is, to me, puzzling, that Mr. Kapllani, having been offered asylum by this country, chose to repay the generosity by poisoning his fellow citizens with the distribution of drugs. I think that, in a sense, almost aggravates the nature of the crime itself.”
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Colonel Richard D. McKeon, Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, made the announcement today. Significant assistance was also provided by the Homestead (Florida) Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration, Los Angeles Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Pohl of Ortiz’s Organized Crime and Gang Unit.