A Seattle man who had a home loaded with drugs, guns and cash, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to nine years in prison, announced U.S. Attorney Jenny A. Durkan.
Bernard Amin Mustafa III, 37, was arrested April 19, 2012, when agents with a search warrant found multiple drugs, fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, BZP, oxycodone and ecstasy at his Seattle home. Investigators also found more than $300,000 in cash and three firearms. One of the guns, a high powered rifle, was set in a tripod and aimed out at the front window of the home toward the street. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik said Mustafa “was a sophisticated drug dealer with deadly drugs and dangerous weapons.”
According to records filed in the case, the investigation of Mustafa began in early 2012 with the arrest of a street level dealer of fentanyl. Mustafa was identified as the dealer’s source of supply. When agents searched Mustafa’s home they found enough fentanyl for $200,000 worth of street sales. Fentanyl is very powerful, with users requiring only a few nanograms of the drug. Because it is usually diluted with a cutting agent before it is sold, and because those mixtures are generally inconsistent, it is a very dangerous drug on the street. Unless the product distributor competently and completely mixes the “cut” with the active ingredient, an unbalanced mixture can result, leading to overdose and death. According to DEA, the Community Epidemiology Work Group in King County reported 10 fentanyl overdose deaths in 2011.
In addition to the drugs in his home, Mustafa, a convicted felon, illegally possessed three firearms and body armor to protect the drugs and cash: a Remington brand .308 caliber rifle found near a safe containing money and drugs; an FNAR-brand 7.62 mm caliber rifle in the tripod on the table; and a Springfield Armory .40 caliber pistol found in the living room of the residence, next to a couch.
While Mustafa was incarcerated on these charges, his girlfriend was found dead from a drug overdose – fentanyl was one of the drugs in her system. The death is still being investigated by the Seattle Police. In asking the court for an 11 year sentence, prosecutors wrote: “Defendant’s criminal past has affected many people, ranging from those to whom he sold drugs, to his friends and to his family. He also placed the people closest to him in danger each time he had them in his home. The use, sale and possession of fentanyl undoubtedly contributed to the death of (his girlfriend).”
The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Seattle Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Roger Rogoff.