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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 23, 2019

Westerville Man Sentenced for Brandishing Firearm in Relation to Xanax Drug Ring Operations

Defendant and others video recorded themselves threatening victim with guns

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Bilal A. El Yousseph, 27, of Westerville, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 102 months in prison for conspiring to distribute controlled substances and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.

 

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Todd A. Wickerham, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, and Westerville Police Chief Charles Chandler announced the sentence handed down today by Senior U.S. District Judge James L. Graham.

 

According to court documents, from January to June 2018, El Yousseph engaged in a conspiracy to distribute Xanax, Adderall and marijuana. El Yousseph was a leader of the conspiracy and recruited other individuals, including at least one juvenile, to sell controlled substances.

 

In February 2018, El Yousseph and other members of the conspiracy believed an individual had stolen Xanax from them and had lied to them about who had stolen it.

 

El Yousseph confronted the individual at his house in Westerville, and El Yousseph’s cell phone was used to video record the confrontation. During the confrontation, El Yousseph and others brandished firearms and repeatedly threatened to kill the individual and his family.

 

For example, one video that is 20 minutes long shows the victim in his own basement writing a confession with at least two guns pointed to his head. El Yousseph directs the individual to write faster and in big letters. He tells a co-conspirator to “Google, What’s the most painful place to get shot?” then places his Glock on the base of the victim’s skull.

 

Throughout the confrontation, firearms were racked and rounds were ejected, showing that the guns were loaded. At one point, one of the juveniles discharged one of the firearms, though the bullet did not hit anyone.

 

In June 2018, El Yousseph was stopped by law enforcement in Westerville for driving erratically. He had nearly hit another vehicle and driven into a curb. Officers found El Yousseph to be impaired and found 285 Xanax pills as well as Adderall and Fentanyl tablets and marijuana in the vehicle. El Yousseph also had a loaded handgun and the victim’s confession letter in the car.

 

El Yousseph pleaded guilty in June 2019 to conspiring to distribute drugs and to brandishing a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking.

 

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by the FBI and Westerville Police Department, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate, who is representing the United States in this case. 

 

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Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated August 27, 2019