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Press Release

Former peace officer convicted of drug trafficking and related crime

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas

HOUSTON – A 49-year-old resident of Houston has been convicted of attempted possession with intent to distribute heroin and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar Hamdani.

A federal jury deliberated for eight hours before convicting Mohammed “Alex” Ahmed Kassem following a four-day trial. 

Kassem is a former investigator with the Waller County District Attorney’s (DA) Office. At the trial, the jury heard how he escorted sham heroin and cartel drug money across state lines. He drove from Louisiana to Houston and Houston to San Antonio in his marked police vehicle on three separate occasions for which he was paid a total of $31,000.

Testimony further revealed Kassem hid money in his bulletproof vest and disguised the sham heroin in an evidence bag to avoid detection.

During the trial, audio and video recordings were presented of each transaction and related text messages. The jury also saw bank records of cash deposits made to Kassem’s personal account after each payment.

Kassem took the stand in his own defense claiming he had authority to commit these crimes. Kassem also maintained that he received implicit approval from the Waller County DA to conduct undercover investigations as part of his role at the DA’s Office. However, the jury heard testimony from his former employer which refuted those statements. The jury ultimately did not believe those claims and found him guilty.

“When Alex Kassem wore his Waller County peace officer credentials and Waller County-issued firearm while transporting what he thought were drugs in his Waller County-issued vehicle and then accepted what he thought was cartel drug money, he breached the most sacred of trusts—the trust a community places in its law enforcement,” said Hamdani. “Today’s conviction brings Kassem one step closer to exchanging his peace officer attire for prison-issued garb, and to restoring a trust once lost.”

“Alex Kassem was a criminal in disguise. He cloaked himself in his trusted position as a licensed peace officer and Waller County DA investigator while working to enrich himself by shamelessly moving money and drugs in his work vehicle and hidden in his police vest,” said Special Agent in Charge Douglas Williams of the FBI Houston Field Office. “Kassem is now a convicted federal felon thanks to the relentless work of FBI Bryan agents and our partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who unmasked his corruption and criminal ways.”

U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal presided over the trial and set sentencing for June 13. At that time, Kassem faces up to life in prison for the heroin trafficking conviction and up to 20 years for money laundering. He could also be ordered to pay up to $10 million in fines. 

Previously released on bond, Kassem was taken into custody following the conviction where he will remain pending sentencing. 

The FBI conducted the investigation with the assistance of the DEA. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Carolyn Ferko and Heather Winter are prosecuting the case.

Updated February 27, 2024

Drug Trafficking
Public Corruption