November 02, 2017
Contact: SA Elaine Cesare
Phone Number: (571) 324-7520
Final Defendants Sentenced In Synthetic Drug Distribution Conspiracy
TYLER, Texas - A mother and son have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a synthetic drug conspiracy in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Special Agent in Charge Clyde E. Shelley, Jr. of the Drug Enforcement Administration and Acting U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
Sharjeel Jeff Ali, 29, and his mother, Nadia Farishta, 54, both of Dallas, pleaded guilty in June 2017 to conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute Schedule I controlled substances, conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute controlled substance analogues, and engaging in monetary transactions. Ali was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield. Farishta was sentenced to 47 months in federal prison today.
Earlier this year, Farishta's ex-husband, Saleem Jiwani, of Tyler, was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison; her daughter, Nimrose Khan, of Carrollton, was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison; and her son-in-law, Adeel Khan, of Carrollton, was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison; for similar charges.
The defendants will forfeit over $250,000 in seized United States currency and bank accounts, approximately 55 pounds of synthetic drugs, and drug paraphernalia. The United States will also take money judgments in the amount of $500,000 against Jiwani and Farishta.
The family members were indicted by a federal grand jury on Aug. 3, 2016. According to the indictment, synthetic drugs were distributed by the co-conspirators from the Ashes Smoke Shop located in downtown Plano, Texas, and by Jiwani at the Minute Stop convenience store located in Tyler, Texas. Charges included conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute Schedule I controlled substances; conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substance analogues; conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States; conspiracy to sell and offer for sale drug paraphernalia; engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity and aiding and abetting; and maintaining a place for the distribution of a controlled substance or controlled substance analogue and aiding and abetting.
“The scourge of illegal drug use in our community is as great now as ever before” said Acting U.S. Attorney Featherston. “In this case, the selling of chemically laced leaves and other substances to be sold as fake marijuana to young people is reckless. No one has any idea what exactly was sprayed onto the “K-2” substance, yet these synthetic drugs were sold for lots of money. It’s crazy to me that people will ingest these so called “synthetic” drugs with nothing more than a guess as to what high or harm it will do to them. The investigators and prosecutors did a great job in putting this case together.”
On Aug. 4, 2016, a combined task force of federal, state and local law enforcement executed federal arrest and search warrants in Plano, Carrollton, Dallas, and Tyler, Texas as a result of a joint investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; Plano Police Department; Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Asset Forfeiture and Seized Property Division; and Smith County Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ann Cozby.