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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Livermore Resident Sentenced To 10 Years For Distributing Heroin In Afghanistan Bound For The United States

SAN FRANCISCO – Shamsuddin Dost was sentenced today to 10 years in prison for distributing heroin in Afghanistan that was bound for the United States, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Chris D. Nielsen.  The sentence was handed down by the Honorable James Donato, United States District Judge.

On January 22, 2018, after a four-day trial, a jury convicted Dost, 23, of Livermore.  During the trial, evidence showed that Dost contacted a confidential source to ask him to bring heroin from Afghanistan to the United States.  Dost connected the confidential source with a heroin supplier in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, who provided two kilograms of heroin, for the purpose of bringing the drugs to the United States.  Dost also sold another five kilograms in Afghanistan, again bound for the United States.  When Dost was arrested, he was planning the sale of another one hundred kilograms of heroin in Afghanistan, destined for the same customer in the United States.  In recorded conversations, Dost described his family’s ability to provide trailer trucks of heroin from laboratories in Kandahar and Khogyani, in Afghanistan, and discussed other schemes to send heroin to Moscow and Pakistan.  

In other recorded conversations, Dost also described his willingness to use violence and his “close ties” to the Taliban in Pakistan, which he asserted controlled the drug trade on the Afghan-Pakistan border.  Dost stated that if someone betrayed him, he would not hesitate to pay a thousand dollars to “slice him like ground beef,” and that he had previously had a Taliban governor threaten to “cut [a man’s] throat and hang him in public.”

On July 6, 2017, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Dost with one count of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin for the purpose of unlawful importation, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 963, and two counts of distribution of one kilogram or more of heroin for the purpose of unlawful importation, in violation of 21 U.S.C. § 959(a).  The jury found Dost guilty of all three counts.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Donato sentenced the defendant to a five-year period of supervised release.  Dost has been in custody since his arrest on November 18, 2016, and will begin serving his sentence immediately.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rita Lin and Nikhil Bhagat prosecuted the case with the assistance of Rawaty Yim and Linda Love.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Afghanistan and the Bay Area, with assistance from the Sensitive Investigations Unit of the Afghan National Police.  This case was investigated and prosecuted by member agencies of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, a focused multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional task force investigating and prosecuting the most significant drug trafficking organizations throughout the United States by leveraging the combined expertise of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Updated June 27, 2018