A Pakistani man was sentenced Monday to an 18-year federal prison term for his role in an international drugs-for-weapons scheme foiled by undercover U.S. agents. Syed Mustajab Shah, 55, had faced the possibility of life in prison for conspiracy to distribute heroin and hashish and 15 years for providing material support to terrorists. Shah had pleaded guilty to all counts back on March 30.
According to the indictment, on September 15, 2002, Shah and co-defendants Ilyas Ali and Muhammed Abid Afridi, traveled from Karachi to Hong Kong to meet with undercover officers to negotiate for the sale of 5 tons of hashish and 600 kilograms of heroin. On September 16, 2002, Shah, Afridi and Ali agreed that the purchase price could be offset against the cost of 4 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles. On September 18, 2002, at a hotel in Hong Kong, they told undercover agents that they intended to sell the Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, discussed during the previous meeting, to members of the Taliban, which they indicated was the same as al-Qaeda.