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Press Release

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty To Marijuana Trafficking

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

CONTACT: Barbara Burns   
PHONE:       (716) 843-5817 
FAX #:          (716) 551-3051  

BUFFALO, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross announced today that Syed Ahmad, 47, of Chicago, Illinois, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. The charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, a maximum of 40, and a $5,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua A. Violanti and Misha Coulson, who are handling the case, stated Ahmad received marijuana and marijuana-based products from a co-conspirator and drove the marijuana and marijuana products to various customers across the United States, including in Western New York, for further distribution. On December 31, 2017, in Morgan County, Illinois, investigators recovered approximately 1,000 lbs. of marijuana from an RV driven by Ahmad. 

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at

The plea is the result of an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Matthew Scarpino.

Sentencing is scheduled for June 7, 2022, before Judge Vilardo.

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Updated January 28, 2022