$2.8 million drug deal in Southcenter, San Jose nets seven-year prison term

One of two King County residents, who was convicted, in absentia, of conspiracy to distribute ecstasy in 2009 at Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle to seven years in prison.

The drug sale, which was also made in San Jose, Calif., totaled about $2.8 million.

Hardeep Singh, 23, formerly of Kent failed to appear after the first day of his trial in fall 2009, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.

His co-defendant, Kaushal Kainth, 25, formerly of Renton also failed to appear following the lunch break on the last day of trial, according to the press release.

Singh was arrested a year ago in Canada.  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, according to the press release.

Kainth remains wanted by law enforcement.

At the sentencing Friday U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones noted that the conspiracy was a “large-scale operation involving large amounts of drugs that would have an impact on the lives of many in the community.”

According to testimony at trial and records filed in the case, Kainth and Singh conspired to distribute large amounts of ecstasy, according to the press release.

During eight days in early May 2009, the men agreed to pay a third man to deliver large amounts of ecstasy and another drug, BZP, to co-conspirators at the Southcenter Mall in Tukwila and in San Jose, Calif.

Kainth and Singh did not know the man they offered to pay for the delivery was working with law enforcement, according to the release. The man recorded both defendants on audio and video.

In all Kainth and Singth gave the person working with law enforcement some 285,000 pills worth more than $2.8 million. The pills were all seized by law enforcement.

The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Werner.

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