US indicts Afghan drug kingpin Amit Patel at 2:52 PM ET
[JURIST] The US has indicted Haji Bashir Noorzai, an accused Afghan heroin kingpin, in a massive narcotics conspiracy involving Afghanistan's former Taliban regime [Wikipedia profile]. US Attorney David Kelley [official website] announced [Kelley press release, PDF] the indictment against Noorzai, one the world's most wanted drug kingpins [US State Dept. press release]. The seven-page indictment alleges Noorzai of leading an international trafficking ring based in Afghanistan and Pakistan that brought at least $50 million worth of heroin to the United States and other countries. US authorities have previously indicated that Noorzai helped finance al-Qaeda [BBC profile] when it operated in Afghanistan under Taliban protection. Kelley said Noorzai provided demolitions, weaponry and militia manpower to the Taliban before the US-led invasion toppled the regime. Noorzai, who was arrested by the US Drug Enforcement Administration [official website] on Saturday while he was traveling to the United States, will make his first appearance Monday afternoon in federal court in Manhattan. Noorzai, if convicted could face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years and a maximum possible sentence of life in prison. The government will also seek nearly $50 million in forfeiture of Noorzai's assets as part of the sentence. CNN has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.