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  • Bangor Daily News

    Mainer pleads guilty for his role in major New England meth trafficking ring

    By Christopher Burns,

    26 days ago

    A Scarborough man has pleaded guilty to his role in a conspiracy that trafficked more than 660 pounds of methamphetamine across New England.

    Emil Dzabiev, 44, who was charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, entered his plea last week in U.S. District Court in Boston, according to the Department of Justice.

    U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton will hand down a sentence on Oct. 4.

    The investigation into the meth trafficking ring began in October 2020. The investigation centered around ringleader Reshat Alkayisi, 62, a Turkish national living in Coventry, Rhode Island, who distributed large quantities of the drug throughout New England.

    Investigators twice purchased meth from Alkayisi and a third time from Brian Keleman, 55, of Pascoag, Rhode Island, as negotiated by Alkayisi, according to the Department of Justice. Agents identified regular customers of Alkayisi, including Dzabiev, who prosecutors said routinely purchased meth and redistributed it in Maine.

    During a May 2021 traffic stop following a meeting with Alkayisi, police found more than a pound of pure meth in Dzabiev’s vehicle, according to the Department of Justice.

    Then on June 1, 2021, agents seized four packages containing approximately 100 pounds of meth, combined, from Keleman, who picked them up on Alkayisi’s behalf from a UPS store in Rhode Island. On June 25, 2021, investigators seized another package containing approximately 30 pounds of meth that was destined for Alkayisi.

    All told, agents seized more than 160 pounds of meth during the investigation.

    They also seized an AK-47 assault rifle, handguns, more than 4,200 rounds of ammunition, more than $23,000 and multiple controlled substances, including meth, according to the Department of Justice.

    Based on records seized during the investigation, authorities believe Alkayisi brought more than 660 pounds of meth into New England.

    Dzabiev was among seven people arrested in July 2021 for their roles in the conspiracy, while three others were indicted that September. Keleman was the last to plead guilty on Monday. Alkayisi pleaded guilty in April and will be sentenced on July 11.

    “The dismantling of this organization underscores that federal, state and local law enforcement is doing everything in our power to get dangerous drugs off our streets, protect our community and hold those accountable who continue [to] pump these deadly substances onto our streets,” acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy said in a Monday statement.

    Dzabiev faces up to life in prison, at least three years and up to a lifetime of supervised release, and a fine up to $10 million.

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