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Press Release

Passaic County, New Jersey, Pilot Charged For His Role In International Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy

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

NEWARK, N.J. – A Ringwood, New Jersey, man appeared in federal court today to face cocaine distribution, money laundering, and other conspiracy charges associated with his role in a scheme to import large quantities of cocaine from Guyana to New Jersey and New York, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Khamraj Lall, 50, is charged by indictment with one count each of conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to structure funds, conspiracy to import cocaine, and conspiracy to distribute cocaine. He was arraigned today before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court and was detained. Lall was arrested July 22, 2015 and has been in custody since that time.

According to documents filed in this and related cases and statements made in court:

From April 2011 through November 2014, Lall, a private pilot, allegedly imported large quantities of cocaine from Guyana to New Jersey and elsewhere on his privately-owned jet aircraft and then laundered the proceeds into banks in New Jersey and New York. Afterwards, he allegedly smuggled hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash back to Guyana.

Lall performed, or had others perform, over 1,287 cash deposits totaling approximately $7,549,775 into more than 20 different bank accounts. All deposits were for amounts less than $10,000 in order to circumvent certain banking reporting laws.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of multiple properties as well as two private jets that Lall purchased with structured funds or were otherwise involved in the criminal conspiracies.

The conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine charges carry a minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison, and a $10 million fine. The conspiracy to launder money charge carries a potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. The conspiracy to structure funds charge carries a potential penalty of five years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents and task force officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, New York Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James. J. Hunt, IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, and the Morristown, New Jersey, police department, under the direction of Chief Peter Demnitz, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan M. Peck, Barry A. Kamar, and Melissa M. Wangenheim of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Gaeta and Sarah Devlin of the Asset Forfeiture-Money Laundering Unit, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of New York.

Defense Counsel: Michael D’Alessio Jr. Esq.

Updated September 8, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-338