A man stopped by Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputies with a half ton of marijuana in his vehicle nearly 4 years ago in South Jacksonville has yielded a guilty plea in the State of New York for whom the drugs actually belonged to.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice Western District District of New York Office, 33 year old Robert Fiels of Springfield, Oregon plead guilty to being a part of a cross-country drug trafficking conspiracy. Fiels was cited for conspiring to possess with intent to deliver and distribute 1,000 kilograms or more of marijuana. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison and a $10 million fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua A. Violanti, who is handling the case in the New York office, says that the defendant served as the main source in a cross-country trafficking chain for marijuana and marijuana-based products through using the U.S. Postal Service, andAmTrak. Fiels also utilized individuals, often called “mules,” including co-defendant 46 year old Syed Ahmad formerly of Houston, Texas among others to deliver those products between 2016 and June 2019. On June 29, 2020, law enforcement executed search warrants at three locations in Oregon associated with Fiels, including his residence, work apartment, and the residence of his former girlfriend where they recovered marijuana, marijuana-based products, Post Office parcels, drug paraphernalia, packing materials, scales, psychedelic mushrooms, liquid steroids, and two firearms. Fiels plea was able to be pursued due to multi-state jurisdiction cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and the DEA.
At approximately 10AM on December 31, 2017, Morgan County Sheriff’s Deputies along with other local law enforcement members along with the DEA recovered approximately a half ton or 1,000 pounds of marijuana from an RV driven by Ahmad and 24 year old Muhammed Usama after a traffic stop at Love’s in South Jacksonville. The marijuana belonged to Fiels, according to the release, and was destined for several locations around the country.
Charges remain pending in federal court against Ahmad and Fiels’ other associates. Sentencing for Fiels is scheduled for February 17, 2022.