UPDATED 10:52 AM PT – Friday, October 4, 2019
An Iraqi immigrant is sentenced to 30 years in prison for running a massive drug trafficking ring on the darknet. 30-year-old Alaa Mohammed Allawi learned his fate in a Texas court Thursday after pleading guilty to several charges, including conspiracy and money laundering back in June.
The individual was granted a U.S. special visa in 2012 after serving as an Iraqi interpreter to the U.S. Department of Defense. He came to America to seek better opportunities than what was offered in his war-torn country.
“The United States welcomed Allawi into our country from war-torn Iraq in 2012,” stated U.S. attorney John Bash. “But instead of taking advantage of the many opportunities this country affords, he decided to make money by peddling a deadly narcotic to Americans in the grips of addiction.”
In Federal court this morning for the sentencing of Alaa Mohammed Allawi. In June he plead guilty for his role as the ring leader of a dark web scheme selling thousands of pills laced with fentanyl. pic.twitter.com/pXG6B82PLl
— Joe Galli (@JoeGalliNews) October 3, 2019
Police said Allawi used the so-called “deep web” to sell and distribute millions of dollars worth of counterfeit opioids online. The operation led to at least one death after a North Carolina marine, who was stationed at Camp Lejeune, died of a fentanyl overdose after taking one of his pills. Between 2015 and 2017 alone, Allawi reportedly distributed over 350,000 pills.
“We’re talking about a two to three month trial with massive amounts of evidence and documents,” explained Bash. “That’s taken not only prosecutors, but agents out of the field to combat this problem.”
In addition to his prison sentence, Allawi was ordered pay $14.32 million dolars to plaintiffs. He faces deportation after he serves his sentence.