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Justice News

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

Monday, February 10, 2014

Major Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison

ATLANTA – Jerome Bushay has been sentenced to prison for trafficking more than 185,000 pills of ecstasy (MDMA), methamphetamine, BZP (which is a drug similar to ecstasy), and ketamine.

 “Bushay headed an organization that distributed a staggering amount of drugs in this district,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.  “Through his conduct, Bushay earned every day of his prison sentence. Once again, to those enticed by the allures of the drug trade— like money, cars, and clubs – be warned. It’s more likely that you will end up sitting behind bars than you will end up drinking at them.”

Harry S. Sommers, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division stated, "Ecstasy is anything but what its name implies – it offers only addiction, pain, and in some instances, death.” Ketamine, often referred to as “Special K,” and BZP, commonly referred to as “Legal Ecstasy,” are all dangerous and sometimes deadly synthetic drugs.  Operation Rude Beast illustrates how DEA and its local, state and federal partners are committed to removing such dangerous substances from our streets. This defendant will now have plenty of time in prison to think about his unlawful acts.”

According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From late-2009 to late-2010, several state, federal, and international agencies conducted an investigation of an Atlanta drug trafficking organization with ties to a corrupt federal customs officer. The investigation (code named Operation Rude Beast) led to the arrest, indictment, and conviction of more than 15 defendants, including Bushay.

Bushay organized and supplied countless drug transactions – in addition to supervising several lower-level drug traffickers. In total, Bushay distributed over 185,000 pills.  Bushay also used former-Customs and Border Protection Officer Devon Samuels to transport his drug money (Samuels was sentenced to 8 years for his conduct).  For example, on November 12, 2010, Bushay had Samuels smuggle $40,000 in drug money into Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.  Inside the airport, Samuels used his badge to bypass airport security, which resulted in the bag not being screened. Thereafter, Samuels gave the bag to Bushay’s associate, who was destined for Texas.

On December 15, 2010, law enforcement officers executed a coordinated take-down of Operation Rude Beast.  As part of the take-down, agents executed a search warrant on Bushay’s home, where they recovered an arsenal of weapons and cache of drug paraphernalia. Specifically, agents recovered: (1) a Cobra 9mm pistol; (2) a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol; (3) a Bushmaster Assault Rifle; (4) a .22 caliber rifle; (5) a Sturm Ruger Ranch Rifle with a scope; (6) a Glock semi-automatic pistol with a laser sight; (7) a Sten-Type 9mm machine gun; and (8) approximately 700 rounds of ammunition, including ballistic tipped and hollow point rounds.  In addition to the weapons, agents found narcotics ledger, an electronic money counter, two digital scales, and a baseball hat with “Customs and Border Protection” embroidered on it.

Bushay, 35, of Lithonia, Ga., has been sentenced to 15 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.  Bushay pleaded guilty on November 22, 2013.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE); ICE - Office of Professional Responsibility; ICE - Office of Inspector General; ICE - Homeland Security Investigations; Jamaican Constabulary Force - Anti-Corruption Branch; DeKalb County Police Department; Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Delta Airlines Corporate Security.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey W. Davis, Dahil Goss, and L. Skye Davis prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.com.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.

Updated April 8, 2015