Owner Of Silver Spring Nightclub Pleads Guilty To Drug Trafficking
Stored and Distributed Kilograms of Marijuana at His Laurel Restaurant, and Used Drug Proceeds to Buy an Upscale Restaurant/Nightclub in Silver Spring
Greenbelt, Maryland – Jason Miskiri, age 39, of Silver Spring, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiring to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge William Winter of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI); Special Agent in Charge Karl C. Colder of the Drug Enforcement Administration - Washington Field Division; and Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
According to his plea agreement and court documents, Miskiri obtained marijuana from several sources for distribution in Maryland. Miskiri was arrested in March 2009 in Texas after purchasing 209 pounds of marijuana that he intended to transport to Maryland.
Miskiri was also the largest customer of a drug trafficking organization headed by Garfield Mullings (Mullings DTO) that shipped large quantities of marijuana from California to Maryland. On numerous occasions from 2010 to 2012, Miskiri gave money to the Mullings DTO to buy marijuana in California and Arizona, which was shipped using commercial shipping companies to Miskiri in Maryland. He also received marijuana on consignment, and paid for it once it was sold. Initially, some of the shipments were sent to Island Flavors Restaurant in Laurel, Maryland, which Miskiri owned and operated. From August 31, 2010 to May 20, 2011, 8,690 pounds of freight, including marijuana, was delivered to the restaurant. After May 20, 2011, Miskiri continued to pick up large quantities of marijuana from the Mullings DTO at other locations.
In 2012, Miskiri obtained marijuana from other Texas sources with whom he met in Prince Georges County, Maryland.
Miskiri used the drug proceeds to open the Society Lounge, an upscale nightclub located on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. At the time the night club opened , Miskiri received as much as $1 million in cash for each load of marijuana that he obtained from the Mullings DTO and sold in Maryland.
Miskiri did not file a personal tax return for any of the years in which he was engaged in the drug trafficking activity.
During his participation in the drug conspiracy, Miskiri was found to be responsible for the distribution of between 3,000 and 10,000 kilograms of marijuana.
Miskiri has agreed to forfeit all of his interest in Society Lounge, and to pay taxes for 2009 to the present.
Miskiri faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus has scheduled sentencing for September 14, 2015 at 2:00 p.m.
In a separate case, Garfield Mullings, age 41, of Hyattsville, Maryland, and five others previously pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Mullings on May 29, 2014 to five years in prison and entered an order that Mullings forfeit $12,190,000.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised HSI Baltimore, DEA and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation, and thanked the Houston, Texas Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety for their assistance. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Stefan D. Cassella and Matthew C. Sullivan, who are prosecuting the case.