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Justice News

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

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

California Man Pleads Guilty To Trafficking Marijuana, Laundering Money

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Samuel A. Flek, 25, of Orangevale, Calif. pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to drug conspiracy and money laundering charges.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Marlon V. Miller, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott announced the plea entered today before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson.

According to court documents, beginning in April 2012, Flek was paid by a drug organization to make regular trips to Columbus, Ohio for the purpose of transporting narcotics proceeds from Ohio to California on behalf of co-conspirators. Flek often stored the money in his luggage on commercial flights, and later began shipping the cash in FedEx boxes under an alias.

Investigators established that Flek transported and/or shipped more than $1.5 million in drug trafficking proceeds during the time period at issue.

The defendant also transported between 100 and 400 kilograms of marijuana from Columbus to Dayton, Ohio.

Conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana is punishable by a term of imprisonment of five to 40 years and up to a $5 million fine. Conspiracy to commit money laundering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and, in this case, a fine of up to $678,090.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by the Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Mike Hunter and Special Assistant United States Attorney Brian Martinez, who are representing the United States in this case. 

Updated July 23, 2015