Arizona Man Pleads Guilty to Drug and Money Laundering Charges
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Jordan Ali, 35, of Arizona, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, five kilograms or more of cocaine and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, as well as a separate charge of money laundering conspiracy, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio. The charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life and a fine of $10,000,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy C. Lynch, who is handling the case, stated that between 2004 and February 1, 2012, the defendant conspired with others to distribute large quantities of cocaine and marijuana in the Buffalo area. In April 2009, Ali and co-defendant Shane Grafman began assisting one another in their drug distribution businesses. The defendants obtained the narcotics in the State of Arizona, and then utilized several methods to send the marijuana and cocaine to the Buffalo area, including cars, trucks, shipping crates and United States Postal Service parcels. Grafman also utilized private jets to travel from Arizona to Buffalo to pick up his drug proceeds.
During the investigation, law enforcement officers seized approximately $1,000,000 in United States currency, including $671,385 from a hidden compartment within a Honda Ridgeline driven by Grafman.
As part of his plea, the defendant admitted that he distributed between five and 10 kilograms of cocaine and more than 100 kilograms of marijuana during the course of his crimes.
“As law enforcement has now demonstrated for the second time this week, this Office will continue to target those who poison our community with large quantities of illegal narcotics,” said U.S. Attorney Hochul.
A total of six defendants have been arrested in this case, four have been convicted. Grafman was convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
The plea is the culmination of investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of James J. Hunt, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Division; Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Kennedy; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; United States Postal Service Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Shelly Binkowski; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Buffalo Police Department, under the direction of Commissioner Daniel Derenda; Erie County Sheriff’s Department, under the direction of Sheriff Tim Howard; Niagara Frontier Transit Authority, under the direction of Chief George Gast; Tempe, Arizona Police Department; Apache County, Arizona Sheriff’s Department; and Oklahoma State Police.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.