Man walks across northern US border and gets arrested and charged drug trafficking and money laundering in San Diego
Rohen Sharma has admitted his guilt to all seven counts, including conspiring to import methamphetamine, sworn against him by a grand jury in 20
Vancouver man to be sentenced in U.S. for drugs, money laundering
6 hrs ago
Rohen Sharma has admitted his guilt to all seven counts, including conspiring to import methamphetamine, sworn against him by a grand jury in 2016.
A Vancouver man who pleaded guilty in California to conspiring to import methamphetamine and money laundering will in sentenced in San Diego next month.
Rohen Sharma, 36, admitted his guilt to all seven counts sworn against him, then sealed, by a grand jury in 2016.
Sharma unwittingly crossed the border on foot at Blaine in October 2017 and was arrested.
He admitted his guilt in June 2018, but had his sentencing hearing delayed several times since then.
It is currently scheduled for April 6 before U.S. District Court Judge Michael M. Anello.
U.S. court documents state that “beginning on a date unknown and continuing up to and including Oct. 27, 2016,” Sharma “did knowingly and intentionally conspire with other persons known and unknown” to distribute methamphetamine in the Southern District of California.
The other charges all relate to transferring or transmitting funds totalling US$46,326 on several dates in 2016.
Sharma has been ordered to forfeit that cash.
In a related case, a man who claimed to work for Sharma’s drug trafficking organization pleaded guilty in 2018 to cocaine distribution and money laundering charges in San Diego. Mario Martinez-Torres was sentenced to 27 months.
Court documents in his case provided more details about Sharma’s gang, stating that U.S. Homeland Security special agents learned in August 2016 of a drug trafficking organization (DTO) “which facilitates the transportation of narcotics and bulk currency between Mexico, the United States, and Canada.”
“After engaging with the leader of the organization, Rohen Sharma, agents discovered that the DTO also coordinated the trafficking of multi-kilogram quantities of methamphetamine from Mexico into the United States and Canada.”
An undercover agent met Sharma in February 2016 “to discuss the transportation of narcotics.”
“During the meeting, Sharma told (the undercover agent) that he was looking for someone to assist him in transporting methamphetamine from Tijuana. Mexico to Seattle,” the court document in the Martinez-Torres case state.
The agent told Sharma that he owned a trucking company and Sharma agreed to pay him to transport drugs.
Sharma made a plan to ship methamphetamine on March 8, 2016 via encrypted text messages with the agent.
The agent received a black cooler-bag “from an unknown member of the DTO at the Otay Mesa Pedestrian Port of Entry” which is located at the San Diego-Tijuana border.
“An examination of the contents of the bag revealed five Tupperware containers containing a clear crystal-like substance, which tested positive for methamphetamine,” the court documents said.
After the agent contacted Sharma again, the Canadian told him to “count it bro’ and weigh it up.”
Three days later Sharma told the agent he had a money courier ready to pick up $27,500 owed for the transaction.
The agent later got a text from the guy picking up the money, who called himself Kondor. Kondor told the agent to use the code word “superman” when dealing with another purported member of the gang, who was also an undercover agent.
On March 20, 2016, that agent contacted Martinez, saying: “I’m calling on behalf of Superman.” They arranged to meet in a Home Depot parking lot in San Diego for the cash transfer.
Martinez was later arrested after crossing the Mexican border into California with cocaine in his car.
Sources said Sharma was a close associate of the late Sukh Dhak, who was gunned down in Burnaby in November 2012. In fact Sharma is believed to have been close-by when Dhak and his bodyguard Thomas Mantel were shot to death at the Executive Inn in the 4200-block of Lougheed Highway.
Sharma is also associated with Ricky Korasak, a former Metro Vancouver realtor wanted in both California for drug trafficking and in B.C. for his alleged role in a 2015 double stabbing.
Korasak filed a civil suit against Sharma in October 2016, claiming he had sustained injuries in an accident two years earlier while Sharma’s passenger in a 2004 Dodge Caravan. But he didn’t pursue the claim, according to B.C. Supreme Court records.
Sharma has a criminal history in B.C. He was convicted in Vancouver of trafficking in 2004 and got a six-month conditional sentence.