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Kent man receives seven-year prison sentence for drug trafficking
A Kent man, who fled in 2009 during a drug trafficking trial, received a seven-year prison sentence for conspiracy to distribute ecstasy on Friday in Seattle.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard A. Jones sentenced Hardeep Singh, 23, and called the conspiracy a "large-scale operation involving large amounts of drugs that would have an impact on the lives of many in the community,” according to a U.S. Attorney's Office media release.
Singh was arrested last year in Canada. Kaushal Kainth, 25, of Renton, also failed to appear following a lunch break on the last day of the trial in 2009 and remains wanted by law enforcement.
A jury convicted both men of the crimes four years ago.
At the time he was indicted, Singh had legal status in the United States. He likely will be deported to his native India following his prison term.
The drug deals involved 285,000 pills valued at more than $2.8 million and occurred in May 2009 at the Southcenter Mall in Tukwila and at a San Jose, Calif., location.
According to court records and trial testimony, Singh and Kainth agreed over eight days in 2009 to pay a third man to deliver large amounts of ecstasy and benzylpiperazine (BZP) to co-conspirators at the Southcenter Mall and at San Jose.
Ecstasy is an illegal amphetamine-based synthetic drug with euphoric and hallucinatory effects. Benzylpiperazine is an illicit drug that is a stimulant and which also has euphoric effects.
Singh and Kainth did not know the man they offered to pay for the delivery was a confidential government informant working with law-enforcement officials. The informant recorded both men on audio and video. Singh and Kainth gave the confidential informant some 285,000 pills worth more than $2.8 million. The pills were all seized by law enforcement.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.