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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced in Firearms and Drug Trafficking Conspiracy Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nebraska

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Keland A. Strong, 21, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on February 8, 2024, in federal court in Omaha for his participation in a firearms conspiracy in the furtherance of drug trafficking. Chief United States District Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. sentenced Strong to 72 months’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After Strong’s release from prison, he will begin a 3-year term of supervised release.

Co-defendant Rodolfo Falcon owned a house that was the central location for the distribution of marijuana, marijuana derivatives, and cocaine. Falcon rented that house out to several younger drug dealers including Kenneth Blair, Alexis Bernal-Lopez, and Keland Strong.  The Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Task Force performed a search of the residence on November 30, 2021, and recovered cocaine, marijuana, currency, drug paraphernalia, and several firearms. Falcon, who has a distinctive tattoo on his hand, was seen in photos posing with firearms. One of the firearms shown in the picture was recovered from the residence. Agents also located a stolen firearm and AR15 rifle. 

At the time of the search, Blair was in the basement of the residence along with two apparent narcotics customers. Drugs and cash were also recovered from that location. Strong was located in an upstairs room that contained numerous firearms. Falcon lived on the main level of the home where agents recovered cash, cocaine. and personal identification documents. Evidence of significant marijuana distribution such as wrappers for large quantities of marijuana were also recovered. This along with the text messages between the group members revealed that the home was being used as a main distribution hub and that Majok Bethow, Bernal-Lopez, Strong, and Blair all worked together to sell drugs, particularly marijuana to “serves” (their code word for narcotics purchasers) and would drive each other to sales and work together to get the right types of THC cartridges and marijuana to customers.

On September 28, 2023, Bethow: pleaded guilty to firearms conspiracy in the furtherance of drug trafficking and was sentenced on January 11, 2024, to 24 months’ imprisonment to run concurrent with a federal case charging him with possessing a machinegun.

On September 28, 2023, Blair pleaded guilty to firearms conspiracy and was sentenced December 21, 2023, to 21 months’ imprisonment.

On October 27, 2023, Falcon pleaded guilty to firearms conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.  He was sentenced on January 19, 2024, to 24 months’ imprisonment.

On November 20, 2023, Bernal Lopez pleaded guilty to firearms conspiracy and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking. Sentencing is set for February 16, 2024.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Matt Lierman - Chief, Drug Enforcement Unit (402) 661-3700

Updated February 9, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses