HUDSON man one of nine indicted on Federal drug and money laundering charges.
Hudson — A 34-year old Hudson man was one of nine people indicted in federal court Sept. 24 for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to ship marijuana from California to Ohio, then launder the drug proceeds and send the money back to California, according to Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Stuart Pflaum, 34, of Southwicke Court in Hudson, was arrested May 29 at his home by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force and charged with conspiracy to launder money.
Pflaum pleaded “not guilty” to the charge Sept. 9, according to court records.
Pflaum posted a $25,000 unsecured bond and has been on house arrest, according to court records.
Pflaum’s attorney Mark H. Allenbaugh declined to comment.
Indicted with Pflaum were: James Sorgi, 33, of McKinleyville, Ca.; Robert Serina, 35, of Cleveland; Craig Kavak, 26, of Parma; Allyson Love, 27, of McKinleyville, Ca.; Dino Silvestri, 32, of Parma; Dustin Allred, 34, of Parma; Madelaine Davidson, 21, of McKinleyville, Ca. and Daniel Linton, 27, of McKinleyville, Ca.
Sorgi is alleged to have operated a drug trafficking organization that shipped marijuana from California to Cleveland. He allegedly grew the marijuana in California and also obtained marijuana from other growers. Sorgi then worked with Serina and Pflaum to direct others to allegedly receive multi-pound shipments of marijuana in Ohio and sell it there, according to the indictment.
Sorgi, allegedly working with Serina, Pflaum and others, then directed people to collect the drug proceeds and make cash deposits into various bank accounts. Sorgi, through Pflaum and Serina, then directed people to convert the cash into money orders and send the money to California, according to the indictment.
This took place between June 2013 and February 2015, according to the indictment.
Prosecutors are seeking to forfeit at least $86,000 from the organization.
“The laundering of illegal drug profits is as important and essential to drug traffickers as the very distribution of their illegal drugs,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “Without these ill-gotten gains, the traffickers could not finance their organizations. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed with taking the profits away from the drug traffickers and ensuring the major players of these operations are held accountable.”
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michelle Baeppler and Margaret Sweeney following an investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force.
A jury trial is scheduled for Oct. 26.