News Release
June 14, 2007
Erin Mulvey
Public Information Officer
212 337-2906

Two Nigerian Drug Traffickers Convicted On Heroin Conspiracy Charges
Defendants shipped drugs to the U.S. from Afghanistan

JUN 14 -- (Manhattan, NY) JOHN P. GILBRIDE, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration New York Field Division and MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that EMMANUEL OBI MADUKA and CHIMDI IBIAM were found guilty yesterday by a jury on charges of: 1) conspiracy to distribute or possess with intent to distribute heroin; and 2) conspiracy to import heroin into the United States, in connection with a case involving a controlled delivery of heroin from Afghanistan. MADUKA and IBIAM were convicted after a trial before the United States District Judge SIDNEY H. STEIN. According to the evidence introduced at trial: MADUKA and IBIAM were identified following an investigation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) in Kabul, Afghanistan. In the spring of 2006, an Afghan national working for the DEA in an undercover capacity infiltrated a heroin trafficking organization operating in Afghanistan. The undercover, posing as a heroin transporter who could bring heroin to the United States and the United Kingdom, met with two members of the Organization and received a heroin sample for delivery to New York. Later, another member of the Organization, in Pakistan, provided the undercover with the nickname and telephone number of IBIAM, who was to be the person to whom the heroin sample was to be delivered in the United States.

DEA SAC John Gilbride stated, “Similar to an action packed movie, this undercover investigation spanned from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Europe, New York and Detroit. Through a concerted effort with our law enforcement partners within the OCDETF Strike Force, these defendants have faced the consequences of their illegal heroin trafficking operation.”

On May 11, 2006, a confidential informant working under the supervision of the DEA in New York called the provided telephone number and spoke to IBIAM. The following day, IBIAM and the confidential informant met at a Starbucks in Manhattan, where the confidential informant provided the heroin sample received in Afghanistan to IBIAM. At the time of the delivery, IBIAM and the confidential informant discussed the future delivery of larger amounts of heroin. Following delivery of the heroin sample to IBIAM, members of the Organization provided another fifteen kilograms of heroin to the undercover in Afghanistan, three of which were intended for delivery to the United States and twelve of which were intended for delivery to London. IBIAM and the confidential informant had multiple recorded conversations about delivery of these kilograms.

The DEA also intercepted multiple communications between IBIAM and MADUKA regarding IBIAM’s efforts to obtain the three kilograms of heroin. Those conversations, which were introduced at trial, revealed that MADUKA was directing IBIAM and that, when IBIAM obtained the heroin, he was supposed to deliver it to MADUKA for distribution.

On August 22, 2006, IBIAM traveled to Maryland for the purpose of picking up the three kilograms of heroin shipped from Afghanistan. IBIAM was arrested after obtaining a bag containing three kilograms of fake heroin from a DEA confidential informant posing as a courier. Following his arrest, IBIAM substantially confessed to picking up heroin for MADUKA and agreed to make recorded telephone calls under the supervision of the DEA in an effort to identify and arrest others working with him. The following day, August 23, 2006, DEA agents arrested MADUKA near his home in Detroit, Michigan.

MADUKA and IBIAM are scheduled to be sentenced by Judge STEIN on September 20, 2007. MADUKA faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years’ imprisonment. IBIAM faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years’ imprisonment.

Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding investigative efforts of the DEA, including agents from the New York Field Division, the Kabul Country Office, the Baltimore Field Division and the Detroit Field Division, and of the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, which is comprised of agents and officers of the DEA, the New York City Police Department, the United States Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Homeland Security Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police, the United States Marshals Service, the United State Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Assistant United States Attorneys JESSE FURMAN and JOCELYN STRAUBER are in charge of the prosecution.