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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Grammy-nominated Hudson man sentenced to nearly six years in prison for laundering drug profits

A Hudson man was sentenced to nearly six years in prison for laundering approximately $1.5 million in proceeds from marijuana trafficking, said Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja.

Stuart Pflaum, 35, was sentenced to 70 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver. Eight people have now been sentenced for their crimes related to the conspiracy.

James Sorgi operated a drug trafficking and money laundering organization that shipped marijuana from California to Cleveland. He grew the marijuana in California and obtained marijuana from other growers. Sorgi then worked with Pflaum and Robert Serina to direct others to receive multi-pound shipments of marijuana in Ohio and sell it there, according to court documents.

Pflaum, Sorgi, Serina and others directed people to collect the drug proceeds and make cash deposits into various bank accounts. Sorgi, through Pflaum and Serina, then directed people to convert the cash into money orders and send the money to California, according to the indictment.

This took place between June 2013 and February 2015, according to court documents.

Sorgi was sentenced to 80 months in prison. Serina’s case is pending.

Pflaum, also known as DJ Xplosive, also worked as a music producer and was nominated for a Grammy Award, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Margaret Sweeney and Michelle Baeppler following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The NOLETF is a task force comprised of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cleveland Division of Police, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the police departments of Cleveland Heights, Euclid, Lakewood, the Regional Transit Authority, Westlake and Shaker Heights. The NOLETF is also one of the initial Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area initiatives, which supports and helps coordinate numerous Ohio drug task forces in their efforts to eliminate or reduce drug trafficking in Ohio.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Mike Tobin 216.622.3651 michael.tobin@usdoj.gov
Updated June 6, 2017