Just weeks after deciding to plead guilty to bulk cash smuggling and other related charges, US Federal authorities announced today that they have indicted the Guyanese born, New Jersey based pilot for his role in a Rochester-based drug trafficking operation.
The pilot, Khamraj Lall, has been charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and importation of cocaine into the United States.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola, who is handling the case, said that according to the indictment, between December 2013 and February 10, 2015, the defendant conspired to bring more than five kilograms of cocaine from Guyana into the United States.
Lall is a pilot and is accused of transporting the cocaine on his flights from Guyana to the United States.
He was arrested yesterday on the drug charges and made an initial appearance in federal court in the District of New Jersey. He is being held until he can make an appearance in federal court here in the Western District of New York.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Lall’s arrest is connected to the arrest of nine other defendants in February 2015. Edward Mighty, Seymour Brown, Andre Taylor, Ricardo Bailey, Robert Wilson, Kenneth Harper, Desmond Bice, and Christopher Samuels, all of Rochester, were charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and use of a telephone to facilitate drug trafficking. Some of the co-defendants also face weapons charges.
Winifredo Gonzales, a Brooklyn resident, was also arrested in February.
According to the complaint, Edward Mighty is one of the leaders of a Rochester-based drug trafficking organization that would obtain kilogram quantities of cocaine from Gonzales.
The cocaine was transported to Rochester and processed, re-packaged, and distributed in various quantities of both powder and crack cocaine through multiple sellers in the Rochester area.
In November last year, Lall was taken into custody in Puerto Rico and charged for smuggling over US$600,000 on his private jet. The flight was heading to Guyana and was on a fuel stop in Puerto Rico when the bust was made.