Feds: Private Passaic County Pilot Smuggled 5 Cocaine Kilos In, $7.5M Out

RINGWOOD, N.J. – A private "cash jet" pilot from Ringwood appeared before a federal judge Friday on charges that he brought several kilos of cocaine into New Jersey and New York, then laundered more than $7.5 million in proceeds back to Guyana.

Khamraj Lall
Khamraj Lall Photo Credit: COURTESY: Guyanese Online

Khamraj Lall, 50, was indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy charges following his July 2015 arrest in connection with what authorities said was a five-kilo load carried on his plane.

The Guyanese-born Lall, who at the time was facing charges in Puerto Rico of carrying $600,000 in drug money in his plane, has remained in federal custody since then, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick said.

Nine co-defendants from Rochester, N.Y., also were arrested at the time. 

Authorities identified them as: Edward Mighty, Seymour Brown, Andre Taylor, Ricardo Bailey, Robert Wilson, Kenneth Harper, Desmond Bice and Christopher Samuels.

Mighty, they said, headed a Rochester-based drug-trafficking ring.

Lall deposited, or had others deposit, roughly $7,549,775 into more than 20 different bank accounts in cash through 1,287 transactions of under $10,000 to circumvent federal banking reporting laws from April 2011 through November 2014, Fitzpatrick said.

The government is looking to forfeit several properties, as well as two private jets that Fitzpatrick said Lall bought with the ill-gotten gains.

Fitzpatrick credited special agents and task force officers of the DEA’s New York Division, as well as IRS-Criminal Investigation and Morristown police.

Handling the case are Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan M. Peck, Barry A. Kamar, and Melissa M. Wangenheim of Fitzpatrick’s Organized Crime/Drug Enforcement Task Force Unit, along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter Gaeta and Sarah Devlin of the Asset Forfeiture-Money Laundering Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Marangola of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Western District of New York. 

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