Kingsburg Man Charged with Operating a Drug Trafficking Enterprise with Five Others
MAY 07 -- FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Anthony D. Williams, and IRS – Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Scott G. O’Briant announced today that a federal grand jury in Fresno returned a 33-count indictment against Edwan Dablan, 34, of Kingsburg, charging him with operating a continuing criminal enterprise involving drug trafficking. Dablan and his brother Khamal Dablan, 22, of Selma; bail bondsman Manuel Vasquez, 28, of Selma; Ribhi Fadel Abdel, 31, of Kingsburg; Naser Hajjaj, 26, of Dinuba; and Augustine Reyna, 29, of Selma with conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and marijuana.
The indictment also charges Edwan Dablan with nine counts of distributing methamphetamine, 10 counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, one count of possessing marijuana with intent to distribute, one count of attempting to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, and with being a convicted felon in possession of 42 rounds of ammunition.
Khamal Dablan is also charged with three counts of distributing methamphetamine, three counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute, one count of attempting to possess marijuana with intent to distribute, and one count of possession of methamphetamine.
Fattah is charged with two counts of distributing methamphetamine and two counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
Reyna is also charged with four counts of distributing methamphetamine and four counts of possessing methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
The indictment also seeks forfeiture of all assets derived from the drug trafficking activities of Dablan’s organization and any property used to facilitate the charged drug trafficking crimes.
The charges are the result of a four year Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation by the DEA, IRS, and Fresno Methamphetamine Task Force (FMTF), a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) initiative, which consists of law enforcement agents from the DEA, Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno Police Department, California Department of Justice, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement (BNE), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the HIDTA Investigative Support Center.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Karen A. Escobar and Deanna L. Martinez are prosecuting the case. The defendants are scheduled to appear in U.S. Magistrate Court in Fresno on May 14, 2010, at 1:30 for arraignment and plea to the charges contained in the indictment.
If convicted of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, Dablan faces at least 20 years and up to life in prison. Because Dablan and Fattah were both previously convicted of a drug felony, they also faces a mandatory minimum prison term of 20 years, a maximum term of life in prison, and a fine of up to $8 million, if convicted of the drug conspiracy and many of the other drug crimes charged against them. The remaining defendants face a mandatory minimum prison term of 10 years, a maximum prison term of life, and a fine of up to $4 million.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants should be presumed innocent until and unless the government proves their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in court.
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