Member Of Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced To Prison For Role In Large Methamphetamine Distribution Conspiracy
RENO – A Reno man was returned to the United States from Mexico where he was arrested on a federal warrant for drug trafficking violations. On December 13, 2022, the defendant made his initial appearance in the Southern District of California and was ordered detained.
In June 2022, a federal grand jury in Reno charged Nassrollah Behmard, also known as “Benny” and “Michael Holt,” 64, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, six counts of distribution of a methamphetamine, and conspiracy to money launder. Behmard’s next court date is December 27, 2022.
In 2014, Behmard fled to Mexico to avoid being arrested for his involvement in Washoe County drug trafficking case. In March 2022, the FBI learned that Behmard, who was still in Mexico, was conspiring with co-conspirators located in Reno and Los Angeles to distribute of multi-pound quantities of methamphetamine in the Reno. From March 2022 to June 2022, Behmard was responsible for distributing over 140 pounds of methamphetamine.
On June 6, 2022, Behmard arranged with co-conspirator Ramon Guadalupe Sanchez Maldonado to deliver 100 pounds of methamphetamine from Los Angeles to Reno. Law enforcement successfully intercepted the methamphetamine and traced it back to a clandestine lab located in the Los Angeles area. Law enforcement dismantled the lab and seized approximately 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine.
In June 2022, Behmard and co-conspirators Owen Eugene Dick, 58, Melissa Ann Longo, 46, Ramon Guadalupe Sanchez Maldonado, 51, and Jesus Sanchez Vargas, 22, were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and related offenses including money laundering. All except for Behmard, who was still in Mexico at the time, were arrested in July 2022.
If convicted, Behmard faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison. There is a 10-year mandatory minimum term of imprisonment.
U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI made the announcement.
The FBI Northern Nevada Safe Streets Task Force, comprised of FBI, Reno Police Department, Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Nevada Gaming and Control Board, Nevada Department of Corrections, and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, investigated the case with assistance by the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, the San Bernardino Police Department, DEA, and ATF. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andolyn Johnson is prosecuting the case.
This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.