Grand Juries Indict 12 In Smuggling Scheme

Attorney General Spitzer, joined by Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown today announced the unsealing of six indictments in Queens County and two indictments in King’s County charging 12 defendants with 56 counts including conspiracy, possession of stolen property, diversion of prescription medicines, possession of controlled substances, and dealing in counterfeit goods.

These indictments are the result of coordinated efforts between the Attorney General’s Office, the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, the New York City Police Department, the United States Department of Labor, and the Federal Food and Drug Administration.

The charges stem from a year-long investigation, begun by the Attorney General’s Office and the Waterfront Commission, into smuggling of counterfeit cigarettes. The investigation quickly uncovered a large-scale stolen property fencing operation, as well as substantial dealing in stolen and diverted prescription medications.

Attorney General Spitzer said: "Law enforcement agencies across the State have intensified their efforts to combat illicit markets in counterfeit and stolen goods. This case highlights the value of the superb cooperation shown by the law enforcement agencies participating in this investigation, including lawyers and investigators with special expertise in organized crime and medicaid fraud."

Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown said: "The investigation that has resulted in today’s announcement was the result of teamwork by law enforcement agencies determined to uncover, apprehend and prosecute individuals accused of illicit dealings involving counterfeit cigarettes, stolen and diverted prescription drugs and other stolen property. We will continue to work with Attorney General Spitzer to root out this kind of pernicious corruption."

The investigation resulted in the recovery of nearly 7,000 stolen portable compact disc players and 140 stolen televisions, 350 Ecstacy tablets, $75,000 worth of counterfeit cigarettes, and over $250,000 worth of diverted prescription medications,. The diverted medications included AIDs, antipsychotic, cholesterol reducing, blood pressure, and other popular therapeutic drugs.

The investigation revealed that a large portion of the diverted prescription medications allegedly originated from a pharmaceutical sales representative, who stole various sample prescription medications from his employer and then sold the prescription medications illegally to buyers on the black market.

It is further alleged that a former corrections officer had purchased diverted sample prescription medications on the black market and sold the medications to the pharmacist at Island Pharmacy, located at 5121 Church Avenue, in Brooklyn. Nearly $150,000 of the recovered diverted prescription medications were recovered from the Pharmacy.

Seven individuals were charged in Queens County:

Jamal Almasri, 43, of Queens, is charged with Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, all are class "D" felonies. In addition the defendant is charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Third Degree, and Trademark Counterfeiting in the Second Degree, all are class "E" felonies;

Michael Rokeach, 31, of Brooklyn is charged in two of the indictments with Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree, a class "A" felony, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class "B" felony, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Medications in the Second Degree, a class "D" felony, and Trademark Counterfeiting in the Second Degree, an "E" felony;

Dimitri Pissanos, 30, of Deer Park is charged in two of the indictments with Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, a class "D" felony;

Pritakumar Shah, 40, of Roslyn, is charged with with Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class "D" felony;

Mohammed Kassim, 40, of the Bronx, is charged with Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree, both are class "D" felonies; Khawaja Khalid, 28, of Brooklyn, and Ka Foun, 26, of Queens are charged with Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications in the Third Degree, a class "E" felony.

Five individuals were charged in Kings County:

Jabbar Ahmad, 58, Franklin Square, is charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, a class "D" Felony, Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class "D" Felony, and Attempted Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, a class "E" Felony.


Mohammed Farraj, 26, of Staten Island is charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree, and Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, both are class "D" felonies, and Attempted Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, a class "E" Felony.

Brian Fallon, 44, of Staten Island is charged with Criminal Possession of Stolen Property, a class "C" felony, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, a class "D" felony, and Attempted Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, a class "E" Felony.

Gregory Dicapua, 47, of Brooklyn, and Frank Dicapua, 49, of Freehold, New Jersey, are charged with Attempted Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Second Degree, a class "D" felony, and Attempted Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Second Degree, a class "E" felony.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Wanda Perez-Maldonado and Lara Stingly under the supervision of Deputy Attorneys General J. Christopher Prather and William Comiskey.

Assistant District Attorney Laurie B. Neustadt of District Attorney Brown’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau who was cross-designated as a Special Assistant Deputy Attorney General, assisted in the investigation under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Gerald A. Brave, Bureau Chief, and Marc P. Resnick, Deputy Bureau Chief and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Peter A. Crusco and Deputy Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Linda M. Catoni.

The investigation was conducted by Special Investigators John DeCarlo, Robert Crook, Joseph Scalogna, and Supervising Investigators Diego Cruz and Ralph Aquino under the supervision of Chiefs Thomas Mullen and Vito Spano.

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