Pocono hotel owner convicted of drug and sex trafficking – Times News Online

Published on May 27, 2022 at 6:59 p.m.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Judge Malachy E. Mannion sentenced Nazim Hassam, 70, of Bartonsville, on May 13 to 60 months in prison and a $150,000 fine for trafficking drugs and sex trafficking.

Hassam was also sentenced this week to 18 months in prison for money laundering via a fraudulent pandemic aid loan.

In April and June 2020, Hassam applied for and received two loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program while lying about being convicted of the previous offenses.

Hassam obtained $89,308 and carried out illegal monetary transactions with most of these funds.

Hassam pleaded guilty to obtaining $61,000 in the form of a PPP loan for Om Sri Sai Inc., a company that owns and operates a hotel in Bartonsville, then transferred the funds from the company’s bank account to pay off a line of personal credit he held in his own Name.

Hassam’s sentence has been increased because he committed this crime while in pretrial detention

released in the drug and sex trafficking case.

Mannion ordered that 12 months of the 18-month sentence in this case run concurrently with the previous sentence, and 6 months run consecutively, as required by law.

Mannion also sentenced Om Sri Sai Inc. to five years probation for sex and drug trafficking offenses and ordered the company to forfeit $2 million from the government, and Pocono Plaza Inn, formerly known as of Quality Inn, Stroudsburg, to five years probation. and a $50,000 fine for maintaining a drug-related facility.

Hassam and the two hotel companies, along with co-defendant Faizal Bhimani, were convicted of sex trafficking and drug trafficking after a two-week jury trial in Scranton in October 2020.

Om Sri Sai Inc., a company that owned and operated a Howard Johnson hotel in Bartonsville, and Bhimani, general manager of that hotel, were both convicted of forcible sex trafficking, fraud, coercion and aiding and encouragement, sex trafficking conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy, and running a drug-related premise.

The jury also found the Pocono Plaza Inn guilty of running a drug-related establishment, and Hassam, co-owner and vice-president of Om Sri Sai and managing shareholder of both hotels, guilty of conspiracy to traffic in drugs and two counts of managing drug trafficking. related premises.

The jury further found that all property belonging to Om Sri Sai facilitated the company’s sex trafficking and drug trafficking crimes and was therefore subject to forfeiture.

Bhimani had previously been sentenced to 180 months in prison.

Mannion also ordered Om Sri Sai to pay restitution totaling $277,630 to two victims of sex trafficking.

These convictions marked the culmination of a six-year joint investigation into sex trafficking, drug trafficking and violent crimes in Monroe County by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force. This case began in 2014 with an FBI investigation into the Black P Stone gang, a group of Bloods who were responsible for gun violence and drug trafficking in Monroe County at the time.

Police testified that the hotels in Hassam were considered high crime areas and they responded to at least six overdoses at the two hotels, one of which resulted in death.

Bhimani also traded discounted and free rooms for sex, which sex traffickers would ask their victims to provide, according to court documents. Bhimani also warned sex traffickers and drug traffickers when law enforcement was present at the hotel, including during the 2014 manhunt for Eric Frein.

Several known sex traffickers and drug traffickers have testified that they managed to evade detection by the police thanks to Bhimani’s warnings. In all, 40 defendants were convicted by the federal government as a result of this investigation. Other defendants have been charged and convicted in state courts. The investigation resulted in the dismantling of the P Stones along with a second gang, the Brick City Brims, and the disruption of two others, the Blood Stone Villains and the Bloodhound Brims.

Investigators seized several kilograms of heroin and cocaine, as well as quantities of fentanyl, cocaine base (“crack”), methamphetamine, marijuana and MDMA (“molly”), and removed at least 10 weapons street fires.

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