(RepublicanPress.org) – Mexican drug cartels or Colombian drug lords typically come to mind when Americans think about international drug smuggling operations. However, not all of the country’s illicit drugs originate from south of the Rio Grande River. In some instances, drugs come from faraway places overseas.
On Wednesday, October 13, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the arrest of an Iranian national for conspiring to smuggle hundreds of kilograms of heroin into the United States.
#BREAKING: the US Department of Justice has announced the arrest of Iranian heroin trafficker Malek Mohammad Balouchzehi who has been charged with conspiracy to sell multi-hundred kilogram quantities of heroin in New York City. https://t.co/52dW4AFHr8
— Iran International English (@IranIntl_En) October 12, 2021
Damian William, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and DEA Administrator Anne Milgram met with press members to discuss the arrest of Malek Mohammad Balouchzehi. DEA agents worked with law enforcement officers in Nairobi, Kenya, to apprehend him on October 6.
On October 9, Kenyan authorities expelled Balouchzehi to the United States. Within days, he made his first court appearance before US Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.
Williams said that Balouchzehi appeared to display “little regard for the devastation” created by highly addictive opiates like heroin. Milgram echoed that concern, adding that the investigation and resulting arrest demonstrates the resolve of US law enforcement officials to pursue criminals who traffic in dangerous substances, no matter where that takes DEA officials.
Balouchzehi faces one count of conspiracy to import heroin into the US and one count of distributing the drug. Both charges carry a mandatory sentence of 10 years and up to life in prison upon conviction.
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