Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

February 20, 2013

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

Canadian Drug Trafficker Sentenced To 81 Months In Prison

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - On February 11, 2013, United States District Judge William B. Shubb sentenced Sulaimen Safi, 31, of Vancouver, Canada, to six years and nine months in prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and Ecstasy, Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano and United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to court documents, Safi worked with various Canadian drug trafficking organizations to import large amounts of Ecstasy or MDMA into the United States from Canada. He also worked with these organizations and others in the United States to export cocaine from the United States to Canada. The importation and exportation routes used by Safi and his partners ran through the Eastern District of California.

According to court documents, on February 1, 2010, detectives in San Bernardino, Calif., seized a 66-pound, Canadian-bound shipment of methamphetamine and more than $126,000 in cash at a hotel in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Safi, a Canadian-based drug trafficker, was arrested in the process of purchasing a six-kilogram sample of cocaine from a Los Angeles-based source of supply with the $126,000 cash. An international courier was to take the cocaine and methamphetamine back to Canada for distribution there. The courier, who was also arrested on the scene, used an encrypted Blackberry device to communicate with his handlers in Canada. This transaction was expected to set up a number of future international deals, each involving 20 or more kilograms of cocaine.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the Fremont Police Department, and the Vancouver Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Michael M. Beckwith prosecuted the case.

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