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Tampa man faces mandatory life sentence for drug trafficking, money laundering

Tampa man faces mandatory life sentence for drug trafficking, money laundering
Tampa man faces mandatory life sentence for drug trafficking, money laundering

TAMPA, Fla. — A Tampa man pleaded guilty Tuesday to knowingly and willfully conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana, and to conspiring to launder drug proceeds.

The case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, and other federal, state, and local agencies as part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force Investigation.

Jabulani Bendar Seay, 34, of Tampa, faces a mandatory term of life imprisonment on the drug charge, and a maximum of 20 years in federal prison on the money laundering charge.

According to the plea agreement, Seay was a knowing and willing participant in a nationwide drug trafficking and money laundering organization based in California. The DTO shipped cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana from California to locations throughout the United States, including the Middle District of Florida.

The drugs were shipped via Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and the U.S. Postal Service. The drugs were also shipped via automobiles placed on car-haulers where the drugs would be hidden in a car, and the car itself would be shipped to the Florida on a car-hauler.

Seay received packages of cocaine at various times in the Middle District of Florida, distributed the narcotics, and then arranged for drug proceeds to be returned to California.

Seay would distribute the cocaine to lower-level drug distributors in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Fla., and elsewhere, who in turn would later provide him with drug proceeds. The proceeds were sent back to California via money couriers, wire transfers and bank deposits.

Co-conspirators would use narcotics proceeds to purchase items such as airline tickets, rental cars and hotel rooms for drug trafficking organization members to conduct their drug trafficking and money laundering activities.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher F. Murray and Josephine W. Thomas.