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Justice News

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

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ohio Man Admits Being Cocaine Courier for Drug Trafficking Organization

ERIE, Pa. – A former resident of Akron, Ohio, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of violating federal drug laws, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Safa Gobah, 23, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge David S. Cercone.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that from June 2013 through February 2015, Gobah engaged in a conspiracy with eighteen co-defendants to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine. The Court was advised that Gobah’s specific role in the conspiracy was to assist in driving vehicles to the Houston, Texas area to pick up loads of cocaine and then to transport the cocaine to Erie, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, with the cocaine concealed in hidden compartments. According to information provided to the Court, on November 1, 2014, Gobah was driving one of the load vehicles with another co-conspirator as a passenger when they were stopped by the Arkansas State Police while traveling east near milepost 253 on Interstate 40. The Court was advised that Gobah and her co-conspirator had just traveled to the Houston, Texas area to pick up a load of cocaine destined for delivery to Erie, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The Court was further advised that a search warrant was executed on the vehicle and that individually wrapped packages of cocaine were located in a hidden compartment in the vehicle. The packages were discovered to contain more than 5 kilograms of cocaine.

Judge Cercone scheduled sentencing for September 15, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life in prison, a fine of $4,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Marshall J. Piccinini is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Pennsylvania State Police, U.S. Border Patrol, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Organized Crime Section, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, and the Arkansas State Police conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Gobah.

Drug Trafficking
Updated May 19, 2016