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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Drug Kingpin Sentenced for Operating a Criminal Enterprise


       BUFFALO, N.Y. -- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Mohamed Taher, 35, of Lackawanna, N.Y., who was convicted following a jury trial of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to import marijuana into the United States, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, false statements and aggravated identity theft, was sentenced to 25 years in prison by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy C. Lynch and Joel L. Violanti, who handled the case, stated that between late 2005 and May of 2007, Taher ran a long running, multi-faceted criminal enterprise that employed multiple narcotics traffickers. Taher and the enterprise imported marijuana into the United States from Canada, and then distributed the marijuana to others in Detroit, Chicago and Buffalo. In furtherance of the defendant’s enterprise, Taher utilized fraudulent identifications to enter into Canada to meet with his associates and his marijuana supplier. In doing so, Taher made false statements to Customs and Border Protection Officers when he claimed to be another individual when he was encountered at the U.S.-Canada border.

Defendants Abdulfatah Mosed, Salah Mohamed Ahmed, Basheer Saleh, Yasin Abdulla and Bradley Parry were previously convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero, Customs and Border Protection, under the direction Randy Howe, Acting Director of Field Operations, the New York State Police, under the direction of Major Michael Cerretto, the Michigan State Police and the Willoughby Hills, Ohio Police Department.
Updated December 2, 2014