News Release
Contact: Casey McEnry
Number: 415-436-7994

Jury Convicts Tracy Man in Ecstasy Trafficking Conspiracy
Sartaj Chahal Faces up to 20 Years in Prison

APR 20 -- SACRAMENTO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that following a nine-day trial before U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr., a federal jury has convicted Sartaj Chahal, 40, of Tracy, today for his part in an MDMA (Ecstasy) trafficking scheme. The jury returned guilty verdicts on two counts: conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Ecstasy, and possession with intent to distribute Ecstasy.

Assistant United States Attorneys Jason Hitt and Michael D. Anderson are prosecuting the case, which is the product of an extensive investigation by the Sacramento District Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Elk Grove Police Department, the San Joaquin County Metropolitan Narcotics Task Force (METRO), and the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The evidence introduced at trial showed that during 2008, Chahal was responsible for importing and transporting 500,000 Ecstasy pills from Canada and arranging for their distribution throughout the Sacramento and Los Angeles regions. Chahal’s drug trafficking also included the transportation of 98 kilograms of cocaine to Canada.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) effort. OCDETF was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

Chahal is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Damrell on July 19, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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