U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Illinois
(312) 353-5300
October 22, 2015

Oklahoma Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Distribute Synthetic Drugs and Launder Money

A synthetic drug wholesaler from Oklahoma pled guilty on October 20, 2015, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Ahmad Saeed, age 48, from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, was convicted of conspiring to distribute controlled substances and conspiring to launder drug money.

In a plea agreement, Saeed admitted that between at least 2012 and continuing through at least June 2013, he acted as a wholesaler distributing synthetic drugs to convenience stores in Oklahoma, Iowa, and Missouri. Saeed admitted he was supplied by regional drug suppliers in various locations, including suppliers in Kansas City, Missouri. He also admitted that the packaging for the synthetic drug products he sold to the convenience stores bore some form of statement that the product was “not for human consumption.” Despite the statements on the packaging, Saeed admitted he knew the synthetic drug products were for human consumption and that he actually intended the products to be consumed.

Saeed also obtained purported laboratory reports from his suppliers and provided them to his customers. The reports claimed the synthetic drug products did not contain certain drugs listed in the federal drug schedules. The drug lists on the reports were not comprehensive, and did not state what substance was allegedly in the supposedly tested product. Saeed admitted he used these reports as a means to make it appear he was complying with federal drug laws, although he knew his conduct did not comply with those laws.

He also admitted that the store owners, including Chaudhry, often paid for the synthetic drug products by check. Saeed admitted Chaudhry, or his representative, would leave the check’s “Pay to the order of” line blank, and the “memo” line would state “Loan.” Saeed admitted that these transactions were designed to conceal the fact that the transactions were drug transactions.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Saeed was taken into custody by the United States Marshal after the guilty plea and will remain in custody pending sentencing. Saeed faces a possible maximum sentence of 40 years’ imprisonment, a $1,500,000 in fines, $200 in special assessments, and a lifetime of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was investigated as part of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) program of the United States Department of Justice through a cooperative effort of the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force consisting of the DEA, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, the Cedar Rapids Police Department, the Marion Police Department, the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, and the Sixth Judicial District Department of Correctional Services; the Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Department of Homeland Security; and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Intelligence Division, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Chatham.

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