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Press Release

Canadian Truck Driver Arrested With Almost 400 Kilograms Of Cocaine, Charged With Drug Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

BUFFALO, N.Y. - U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Ahmed El Kady, 37, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with possession with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $10,000,000.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan E. Leydecker, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, on August 7, 2023, El Kady made entry into the United States at the Ambassador Bridge Port of Entry in Detroit, Michigan, driving a commercial truck (Subject Vehicle) without a commercial trailer attached. El Kady advised CBP Officers that he was picking up a trailer locally in Detroit. Investigators surveilled El Kady and the Subject Vehicle to the TA Travel Center in Dexter, Michigan, where, over the next two days, he appeared to make some sort of exchange with the drivers of two other commercial trucks. Investigators continued to surveil El Kady as he traveled to Ohio before returning to Dexter, Michigan and making another exchange with the driver of a third commercial truck. El Kady then traveled to Buffalo, NY, arriving on evening of August 9, 2023, and spending the night at local truck stop.

On August 10, 2023, in the early afternoon, El Kady’s wife Maja Tambur arrived at the truck stop. El Kady and Tambur got into Tambur’s vehicle, traveling to Niagara Falls, where they made frequent stops throughout the area and were observed driving evasively in a manner consistent with individuals conducting counter surveillance. After their attempts to lose investigators from their surveillance, El Kady and Tambur attempted to return to the truck stop to the Subject Vehicle. A federal search warrant was executed on the Subject Vehicle, during which approximately 386 kilograms of suspected cocaine were seized, and El Kady was taken into custody.

El Kady made an initial appearance this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy and is being held pending a detention hearing on August 14, 2023, at 11 a.m.

The complaint is the result of a joint investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in Charge Matthew Scarpino, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and Canada Border Services Agency. Additional assistance was provided by Customs and Border Protection, CBP Air and Marine Unit, U.S. Border Patrol, the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, the Buffalo Police Department, the North Tonawanda Police Department, the Cheektowaga Police Department, the Ontario Provincial Police, Peel Police, and Toronto Police Services.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Barbara Burns


Updated August 11, 2023

Drug Trafficking