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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Western District of Washington

For Immediate Release

December 17, 2010

United States Attorney

Contact: Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer
(206) 553-4110

Seattle Man Sentenced to Long Prison Term for Running Drug Distribution Conspiracy While Incarcerated

Leader of Drug Ring Issued Orders to Others While Jailed in the King County Jail

TARIQ MUSAWWIR, aka TURK, 26, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 115 months in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, marijuana, and oxycontin. MUSAWWIR pleaded guilty on June 15, 2010. MUSAWWIR was arrested on February 25, 2010, following a traffic stop and foot chase. Throughout the month of March 2010, while in the King County Jail, MUSAWWIR continued to run his drug distribution enterprise, directing co-conspirators to deliver and sell narcotics. The instructions were recorded on the King County Jail telephone call recording system. U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour imposed the sentence.

According to records filed in the case, on February 25, 2010, a King County Sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull MUSAWWIR over while he was driving with his sister and her two young children in the car. MUSAWWIR jumped from the car while it was still moving, leaving the car to crash into parked cars. MUSAWWIR was arrested after a foot chase with police. A loaded firearm was found in the trunk of MUSAWWIR’s car. He was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of previous felony convictions. While incarcerated for probation violations, MUSAWWIR was recorded instructing co-conspirators about drug deliveries. In early March 2010, MUSAWWIR coordinated the delivery of four pounds of marijuana, 100 pills of oxycontin and 1,000 pills of ecstasy. On two different occasions MUSAWWIR instructed a co-conspirator to pick up a load of cocaine and deliver it to a location in Montana. On April 2, 2010, investigators searched locations in Montana and seized cocaine, marijuana, oxycontin and a firearm.

MUSAWWIR’s co-defendant, AARON ROBERTS, of Seattle, was also sentenced today. ROBERTS followed MUSAWWIR’s instructions, delivering cocaine and mailing oxycontin to conspirators in Montana. ROBERTS was sentenced today to seven years in prison and four years of supervised release.

In his memo to the court, Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Brown said MUSAWWIR is a danger to the community. MUSAWWIR has been in and out of the corrections system for the past sixteen years. His criminal offenses as an adult include convictions for assault, firearms possession, and multiple drug related offenses. Perhaps most troubling about this current conviction is that the Defendant made absolutely no attempt at lawful behavior following his arrest and probation violations in February. Rather than being dissuaded from committing more crimes, the Defendant continued to execute a drug conspiracy while locked up behind bars.

The case was investigated by the ATF Violent Gang Task Force. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Brown.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.