17 busted in huge regional marijuana ring linked to murder in Alexandria

Seventeen people accused of participating in a huge regional marijuana ring have been indicted and arrested on charges related to a conspiracy to commit racketeering in Alexandria, Virginia.

The Alexandria Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office also said that a member of the organization killed Yousef Omar, 23, of Texas, in Alexandria last November “in furtherance of the drug-trafficking organization,” according to a news release.

A grand jury indicted Ahmed Mohammed Shareef, 23, of Cosa Mesa, California, on murder, firearms and racketeering charges. He is in California awaiting extradition to Virginia.

The drug-trafficking organization sold large amounts of marijuana in Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland in what officials say was a complex drug trafficking orgnation.

A total of 20 local, state and national law enforcement agencies and federal partners assisted the Alexandria police narcotics unit in the case.

In several jurisdictions, they seized:

  • More than 150 pounds of high-grade marijuana, valued around $500,000;
  • At least $274,795;
  • At least 23 firearms including three assault rifles and multiple high capacity magazines;
  • Cocaine and other controlled substances;
  • Electronic money-counting machines, digital scales, vacuum sealers, packaging materials, suitcases and owe sheets;
  • Multiple fictitious identification cards and driver’s licenses;
  • Multiple vehicles used in furtherance of the organization’s racketeering activity.

The 16 other defendants are in custody on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering. No trial dates have been set.

“The collaborative effort between the partner law enforcement agencies shows true professionalism and determination to halt the cycle of violence inherent in complex drug trafficking organizations. The cooperation between agencies exhibited in this case provides a new paradigm for complex, multistate investigations,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Porter.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has a master’s degree in interactive journalism from American University and a master’s degree in English Literature from The George Washington University.

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