U.K. man accused of international drug trafficking charged in … – The Columbus Dispatch

A man from the United Kingdom accused of leading an alleged international drug trafficking ring has been extradited to the United States and pleaded not guilty Monday during his arraignment in U.S. District Court in Columbus.
Banmeet Singh’s prolific criminal organization shipped diverted prescription and illegal drugs around the globe, and one of his cells was connected to Columbus, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
Singh, 39, was initially indicted in 2018 on federal charges and he was arrested at his home in Coventry, England on April 26, 2019.
He fought his extradition to the U.S. by filing an appeal in early 2020 with the European Human Rights Court.
In January, Singh withdrew his appeal and on March 2, the court ruled in favor of his extradition. He arrived Sunday evening in Columbus for his arraignment early Monday afternoon.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Twombly said in court that Singh is charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, conspiracy to import a controlled substance and money laundering conspiracy.
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration identified at least eight U.S.-based distribution cells supplied by Singh’s organization, according to a release.
A cell connected to Columbus was the source of drugs seized in February 2017, including 59 kilograms of MDMA and 19 kilograms of ketamine.
If convicted as charged, Singh faces 10 years to up to life in prison.
Singh was designated in February 2019 by the U.S. Attorney General, as a priority target for the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Singh’s criminal enterprise apparently involved cryptocurrency and the dark web, according to federal authorities.
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DEA Detroit Special Agent in Charge Orville O. Greene said in a news release: “this investigation clearly demonstrates that there is no place to hide in the dark web. We will find you and you will be held accountable.”
IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson said the “IRS will continue to push the agency to the forefront of complex cyber and cryptocurrency investigations and work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners to investigate those laundering drug proceeds.”


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