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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

California Man Sentenced For Trafficking Marijuana, Laundering Money


COLUMBUS, OHIO – Samuel A. Flek, 25, of Orangevale, Calif. was sentenced to 36 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $339,045 in currency on one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Flek pleaded guilty to the aforementioned charges on November 5, 2014.

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 sentence handed down today by 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 and also began shipping the cash in FedEx boxes under an alias.

Investigators established that Flek used a fraudulent Ohio driver’s license to rent a storage unit in Hilliard, Ohio to count, package, and prepare the drug proceeds for shipping, and that Flek transported and/or shipped more than $1.5 million in drug trafficking proceeds.

The investigation established that Flek transported between 100 and 400 kilograms of marijuana from Columbus to Dayton, Ohio.

“The laundering of illegal drug profits is as important and essential to drug traffickers as the very distribution of their illegal drugs. Without these ill-gotten gains, the traffickers could not finance their organizations,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to taking the profit away from the drug traffickers and putting those individuals in jail.”

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 prosecuted the case.

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Updated July 23, 2015