Pakistani Nationals Extradited to the United States Face Drug Charges in New York
Charged with Attempting to Send Large-Scale Quantities of Heroin from Afghanistan to New York City
WASHINGTON – DEA Administrator Anne Milgram and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss today announced the extradition two Pakistani citizens, who will face charges for attempting to import large quantities of heroin into the United States. Maulabaksh Gorgeech and Niamatullah Gorgeech were taken into custody by Thai authorities in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 11, 2021, and were flown to the United States today where they will be presented before United States Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.
“At a time when the United States is facing an opioid overdose epidemic of unprecedented proportions, it is critical that DEA stop the flow of heroin into the country before it makes its way to our communities,” said Administrator Milgram. “Directly because of DEA’s efforts, Maulabaksh Gorgeech and Niamatullah Gorgeech are now on American soil, facing significant criminal charges for their alleged crimes.”
“As alleged, Maulabaksh Gorgeech and Niamatullah Gorgeech trafficked in wholesale importation of heroin to the United States,” said U.S. Attorney Strauss. “Thanks to the DEA’s global reach and the assistance of law enforcement authorities in Thailand, the defendants are in U.S. custody and facing serious federal charges.”
According to the allegations contained in the complaints charging the defendants, which were unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
Maulabaksh Gorgeech and Niamatullah Gorgeech, Asia-based drug traffickers, began communicating and meeting with individuals whom they believed were heroin traffickers interested in purchasing multi-kilogram quantities of heroin for importation into the United States in late 2019. These individuals were, in fact, confidential sources working at the DEA’s direction, and an undercover DEA agent posing as a New York-based heroin distributor.
Maulabaksh Gorgeech, 43, and Niamatullah Gorgeech, 37, are charged with one count of attempting to import heroin into the United States. Maulabaksh Gorgeech is also charged with a second count of conspiracy to import heroin into the United States. Each count carries a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Administrator Milgram praised the outstanding investigative efforts of the DEA’s Special Operations Division Bilateral Investigations Unit, and the OCDETF New York Strike Force; the DEA’s Bangkok, Islamabad, Kabul, and Bucharest Country Offices, and Guam Resident Office; the United States Central Command; U.S. Embassy in Bangkok’s Consul General’s Office and Diplomatic Security Service; the Royal Thai Government’s Office of the Attorney General - International Affairs Department, Royal Thai Police Narcotics Suppression Bureau - Sensitive Investigative Unit, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission. Administrator Milgram also thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs for its ongoing assistance.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit.
The charges contained in the complaints are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.