US Attorney Reports Extradicted Ghanaian Drug Kingpin Sentenced To 262 Months On Heroin Charges

LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ATTAH EVAN KWASI — a large-scale heroin trafficker extradited from Ghana to the
United States — was sentenced on Friday to 262 months’
imprisonment for his role in a conspiracy to import kilogram
quantities of heroin from Ghana to the United States. The
sentence was imposed by United States District Judge LAURA TAYLOR
SWAIN. KWASI had previously pleaded guilty to the charges on
September 13, 2006. According to the Indictment and extradition
documents filed in Manhattan federal court, as well as statements
made at numerous related court proceedings:

KWASI operated an international heroin-trafficking
organization based in Accra, Ghana. KWASI recruited couriers who
swallowed pellets containing heroin and traveled from Ghana to
the United States on commercial airliners. After arriving in the
United States, the heroin couriers transported the heroin to the
New York City area.

KWASI’s sentencing marks the culmination of a three
year investigation and prosecution of importers, couriers and
distributers responsible for trafficking in multiple kilograms of
heroin in the New York City area. KWASI, who was indicted in
2004 by a Grand Jury in the Southern District of New York, was
charged alongside heroin couriers who worked for the
organization, a local heroin distributer, and NANA SARPRONG,
another importer from Ghana who directed his own network of
couriers and distributers. SARPONG was sentenced earlier this
year to 292 months’ imprisonment.

In December 2004, KWASI was arrested in Ghana for
extradition purposes, pursuant to a request by the United States
to the Government of Ghana. After litigation in the Ghanaian
courts, a Ghanaian judge granted the United States’ request that
KWASI be extradited to face the charges in the Indictment.

The extradition process was completed in August 2005, when KWASI was
flown from Ghana to the Southern District of New York. At the
time of his extradition, law enforcement authorities in Ghana and
the United States seized kilogram quantities of heroin from KWASI
and his organization, which derived approximately $10 million
from their heroin trafficking crimes. At KWASI’s sentencing,
Judge SWAIN ordered KWASI to forfeit $10 million to the United

Mr. GARCIA praised the outstanding investigative
efforts of the New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, the New York
City Police Department, the United States Drug Enforcement
Administration, the New York State Police, the United States
Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the United
States Marshal Service. He also thanked Ghanaian law enforcement
authorities for their assistance in the case.
Assistant United States Attorneys AMY FINZI

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