Drug Enforcement Administration

Chicago

Brian M. McKnight, Special Agent in Charge

February 03, 2016

Contact: Special Agent Sharon Santiago

Phone Number: (312) 353-7875

Organizer Of Madison Marijuana Conspiracy Sentenced To 2 A½ Years In Federal Prison

Amadou Camara is fifth Madison-area college student sentenced in conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana

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MADISON, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Amadou Camara,Sun Prairie, Wis., was sentenced yesterday by Chief U.S. District Judge William M. Conley to 30 months in prison for conspiring with others to import and distribute marijuana in the Madison area, primarily in and around the UW Madison campus. Camara pleaded quilty to this charge on November 17, 2015.

From September 2012 to February 2015, Camara and six other codefendants, all college students, arranged the purchase, transportation and distribution of as many as 19 loads of marijuana, ranging in quantity from five to 50 pounds, from California and Colorado to Madison.  Drivers were sent to the West Coast with tens of thousands of dollars to make contact with a supplier, and return with up to 50 pounds of marijuana at a time.  The marijuana loads were then divided among the “investors” who had provided money for the purchase of the supply.  These persons then sold the marijuana in Madison for a substantial profit.   

Judge Conley found that Camara had a managerial role in the conspiracy in that he recruited at least one driver, supplied vehicles and financing for the trips, and directed drivers’ activity.  Judge Conley further found that Camara’s conduct could be tied to more than 100 kilograms of the marijuana, and that this, along with Camara’s role as a manager, warranted a higher sentence than some of the other conspirators. 

Camara explained that his involvement in the conspiracy was motivated by his desire to profit from the business in order to pay for his tuition at the University, since as an undocumented alien, he was unable to qualify for financial aid available to other students.  

Four fellow conspirators have been sentenced to date:

The other two defendants, Enis Gashi, 21; and Yotam Israeli, 22, have entered guilty pleas and are scheduled to be sentenced this month. 

The charge against Amadou Camara was the result of an investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration; Wisconsin Department of Justice, Division of Criminal Investigation; and Dane County Narcotics Task Force.  The prosecution of this case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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