A U.S. federal court reportedly sentenced an Afghan national to a mandatory minimum of ten years in prison this week in connection to a multi-million-dollar conspiracy to smuggle heroin used to fund the Taliban’s terrorist activities from Afghanistan into the United States.
In 2016, U.S. authorities arrested 23-year-old Shamsuddin Dost after he told an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent that he would import 220 pounds of Taliban-linked heroin from Afghanistan into the United States.
This year, a federal court convicted Dost and his co-defendant, Jawd Ahmadi, of conspiracy to traffic heroin from Afghanistan, the world’s top producer of the illicit drug, the Mercury News reported on April 2.
After pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin, Ahmadi received an even lighter sentence of about six years (70 months).
Referring to Dost’s sentence, the Mercury News reported on Wednesday:
A Livermore [California] man convicted of charges related to trafficking heroin into the United States from Afghanistan was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Wednesday, the minimum allowable sentence.
In wiretap calls with the informant, Dost claimed to have ties to the Taliban. He said he had money laundering operations in the Bay Area, and that he could have someone sliced “like ground beef” if they went against him. His attorney called those claims false boasting, and Dost testified during trial he hadn’t been to Afghanistan since he was a young child.
The defense asked Dost to be sentenced to 10 years. Prosecutors asked for a prison term of 17 and a half years, and alleged that Dost had perjured himself when he took the stand.
Citing the DEA, the Mercury News noted in April the investigation into Dost prompted the seizure of an estimated 13 pounds of pure heroin that traffickers can dilute to about 150 pounds, valued at “between $3.5 and $8.33 million.”