Rockville Man Admits to Trafficking Over 400 Kilograms of Marijuana and Laundering Over $2.5 Million of Drug Proceeds
Seven Defendants Have Pleaded Guilty to Date to the Drug and Money Laundering Conspiracies
Baltimore, Maryland – Issa Haddad, age 24, of Rockville, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, and conspiring to commit money laundering.
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); and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.
According to his plea agreement, from March 2010 to April 10, 2014, Haddad provided addresses in Montgomery County, Maryland and elsewhere to which co-conspirators in California would ship marijuana. Haddad and others received packages of marijuana in Maryland, and Haddad was responsible pursuant to the conspiracy for sending, receiving, and preparing for distribution between 400 and 700 kilograms of marijuana in Maryland.
Members of the conspiracy provided Haddad with bank account numbers into which the proceeds from the sale of the marijuana were deposited. Haddad and others deposited cash in amounts less than $10,000 into the provided banks accounts which were controlled by co-conspirators. These deposits of less than $10,000 were structured to evade IRS reporting requirements and conceal from the government large cash transactions by narcotics dealers.
Haddad admitted that his role in the conspiracy involved the laundering of between $2.5 million and $7 million of drug proceeds.
Haddad has agreed to forfeit at least $2.5 million.
To date, seven defendants have pleaded guilty to their participation in the drug and/or money laundering conspiracies, and await sentencing: Bianca Rosales, age 26, of New York, New York, pleaded guilty on July 7, 2014; Raymond Dixon, age 27, of San Francisco, California, pleaded guilty on July 25, 2014; Alnisha Hooks, age 23, of Los Angeles, California, pleaded guilty on August 5, 2014; David Fahrali-Simonson, age 24, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty on February 20, 2015; Ramon Rodriguez-Cruz, age 28, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty on February 23, 2015; and Sebastian St. John, age 23, of Silver Spring, Maryland, pleaded guilty on March 26, 2015.
Haddad faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison for the drug conspiracy and 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracy. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for June 25, 2015 at 11:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended HSI Baltimore and Montgomery County Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kelly O. Hayes and Mara Zusman Greenberg, who are prosecuting the case.