Chocolate Trafficking: Mob Group Charged With Not-So-Sweet Crimes

Chocolate Trafficking: Mob Group Charged With Not-So-Sweet Crimes

Chocolate Trafficking: Mob Group Charged With Not-So-Sweet Crimes

Numerous group members were based in New York City, but others were located in Florida, New Jersey, Nevada, Pennsylvania and overseas, according to the indictment.

The group planned several crimes including trafficking stolen cigarettes and chocolate as well as illegal gambling, federal authorities say. The indictments include charges against the alleged head of the national criminal enterprise, marking one of the first federal racketeering charges ever brought against a Russian "vor", said Kim.

"The suspects in this case cast a wide net of criminal activity, aiming to make as much money as possible", FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney said.

The FBI, US Customs and Border Protection, the New York Police Department and Southern New York acting US attorney Joon Kim allege those schemes included "a murder-for-hire conspiracy, a plot to rob victims by seducing and drugging them with chloroform, the theft of cargo shipments containing over 10,000 pounds of chocolate, and a fraud on casino slot machines using electronic hacking devices".

USA prosecutors on June 7 arrested and charged more than two dozen alleged members of a Russian organized crime gang working out of New York City with what they called a "dizzying array of criminal schemes". He and the 26 others are named as defendants in the Shulaya indictment, which charges that they operated a nationwide racketeering enterprise.

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The defendants, majority from Brooklyn, included Razhden Shulaya, 40, of Edgewater, New Jersey, identified as a "vor" or elite criminal from the former Soviet Union who allegedly headed a nationwide racketeering enterprise that included 27 of those charged.

The Justice Department said that the Shulaya Enterprise comprised groups of individuals, often with overlapping members or associates, dedicated to particular criminal tasks.

According to the New York Times, the court documents show that investigators collaborated with paid informers.

If convicted, some defendants could face up to 40 years in prison, according to the complaint.

Numerous crimes the suspects are being charged with are expected to be tried for maximum sentences, according to court documents.

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