News Release
October 5, 2007
Contact: DEA Public Affairs
Number: (202) 307-7977

Heroin Kingpin – First Defendant Ever Extradited From Afghanistan – Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To Over 15 Years In Prison

OCT 5 -- MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and KAREN P. TANDY, the Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration ("DEA"), announced that BAZ MOHAMMAD, 51, an Afghan heroin kingpin, and the first defendant ever extradited to the United States from Afghanistan, was sentenced this afternoon to 188 months’ imprisonment for managing an international narcotics-trafficking organization that imported millions of dollars of heroin into the United States. President GEORGE W. BUSH previously designated BAZ MOHAMMAD as a foreign narcotics kingpin under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act, which authorizes the President of the United States to make such designations when he determines that a foreign narcotics trafficker presents a threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. HAMID KARZAI, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, authorized the extradition of BAZ MOHAMMAD to the United States in October 2005.

On July 11, 2006, BAZ MOHAMMAD pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court. According to the Indictment, other documents filed in the case, and statements made during MOHAMMAD's guilty plea:

Between 1990 and 2005, MOHAMMAD led an international heroin-trafficking organization (the “Organization”) responsible for manufacturing and distributing millions of dollars worth of heroin in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Organization then arranged for the heroin to be transported from Afghanistan and Pakistan into the United States, including to New York City, hidden inside suitcases, clothing, and containers. Once the heroin arrived in the United States, other members of the Organization received and distributed the heroin. These coconspirators then arranged for millions of dollars in heroin proceeds to be laundered back to MOHAMMAD and other members of the Organization, in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Organization, closely aligned with the Taliban in Afghanistan, provided financial support to the Taliban during the course of the conspiracy. More specifically, between 1994 and 2000, the Organization collected heroin proceeds in the United States for the Taliban. In exchange for its financial support, the Taliban provided the Organization protection for its opium crops, heroin laboratories, drug-transportation routes, and members and associates.

In 1990, MOHAMMAD discussed heroin trafficking with other members of the Organization in his Karachi, Pakistan, residence. During the meeting, MOHAMMAD told his co-conspirators that selling heroin in the United States was a “jihad” because they were taking the Americans’ money and the heroin was killing them.

This case was the result of the cooperative efforts of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, the DEA, the United States Marshals Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”), and the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), working together under the auspices of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force, as well as the Afghanistan Counter Narcotics Police and the Interior Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the DEA, the FBI, ICE, the NYPD, and the Afghan Counter Narcotics Police.

"Baz Mohammad is a narcotics kingpin whose drug organization, operating under the protection of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, made millions of dollars from the sale of heroin in the United States," said United States Attorney MICHAEL J. GARCIA. "Today's sentencing is a gratifying conclusion to an important prosecution that would not have been possible without unprecedented cooperation between law enforcement authorities in the United States and Afghanistan." "The sentencing of Haji Baz Mohammad -- the first person ever extradited from Afghanistan to the United States -- demonstrates both our nations' resolve to destroy the hold opium lords have on Afghanistan," said DEA Administrator KAREN P. TANDY. "This drug kingpin bragged that he waged jihad against Americans by poisoning them with his heroin. His attack was unconventional, and his massive drug profits funded the Taliban and other extremist organizations dedicated to destroying freedom and justice. Today, as Mohammad loses his own freedom, he begins a long, hands-on lesson in the certainty of American justice." The prosecution of BAZ MOHAMMAD is being handled by the Office’s International Narcotics Trafficking Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys BOYD M. JOHNSON III, AMY FINZI, and JOCELYN STRAUBER are in charge of the prosecution.