Iranian national arrested

NEW YORK – DEA Administrator Anne Milgram and United States Attorney General for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams yesterday announced the arrest of Malek Mohammad Balouchzehi, aka “Malek Khan”, for conspiring to import heroin into the United States and distribute heroin for importation into the United States. Balouchzehi, an Iranian citizen, was arrested by Kenyan authorities in Nairobi, Kenya on October 6, 2021, and deported from Kenya to the United States on October 9, 2021. Balouchzehi was brought before U.S. State Judge Sarah Netburn on October 12.

“This investigation demonstrates our collective determination to prosecute criminals who traffic in these dangerous and addictive substances,” said Administrator Milgram. “For decades, the DEA’s partnerships with our law enforcement partners around the world have been key to bringing those who threaten our communities to justice. The DEA will continue to do whatever it takes to combat and defeat criminal drug traffickers endangering the safety and health of Americans. “

“Thousands of miles away, Malek Balouchzehi is said to have organized the importation of massive amounts of heroin into the United States apparently without worrying about the devastation caused by highly addictive opiates after landing on our shores,” said the US Attorney Williams. “Balouchzehi’s deportation to the United States is a direct result of this office’s continued successful partnership with the DEA, and we applaud the outstanding work of the officers at home and abroad who made today’s charges. possible. “

According to the allegations in the lawsuit indicting the defendant, which was unsealed yesterday in federal court in Manhattan:

Balouchzehi is a drug dealer who distributes methamphetamine and manufactures and distributes heroin. Around October 2019, Balouchzehi and his partner began communicating and meeting with individuals who Balouchzehi claimed were heroin traffickers interested in large amounts of heroin to be imported into the United States, as well as methamphetamine for distribution in the United States. Australia. These individuals were, in fact, a confidential source working under the direction of the DEA, and an undercover DEA agent posing as a New York-based heroin distributor. In December 2019, Balouchzehi had a sample of approximately two kilograms of heroin delivered to Mozambique on the understanding that the drugs would be transported to the United States for testing and sale. As a result of this shipment sample, Balouchzehi planned to supply larger quantities of heroin for import and distribution in the United States, and in December 2019, Balouchzehi planned to supply up to 400 kilograms of heroin to import into the United States on the next transaction.

Balouchzehi, 38, a citizen of Iran, is charged with one count of conspiracy to import heroin into the United States and one count of distributing heroin with the intent that the narcotics be imported into the United States. Both counts carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The minimum and maximum sentences provided by law are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any conviction of the defendant will be determined by a judge.

Administrator Milgram and US attorney Williams praised the exceptional investigative efforts of the DEA Special Operations Division, Bilateral Investigations Unit and New York Field Division; the DEA country offices in Nairobi, Maputo, Pretoria, Bucharest and Jakarta; the Kenya National Police; the national criminal investigation services of Mozambique; and the Western Australian Police. Administrator Milgram and United States Attorney Williams also thanked the Office of International Affairs of the United States Department of Justice for its assistance.

The case is being pursued by the Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit of the US Attorney’s Office. Assistant US prosecutors Michael Lockard and Kimberly J. Ravener are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the complaint are only charges, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until his guilt is proven.

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