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  1. Press Releases

Pennsylvania Family Pleads Guilty to Fentanyl Trafficking

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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Virginia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 5, 2024

 
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Three members of a Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania, family pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute fentanyl.

According to court documents, Hadja Franklin, 55, Nabyunissa Bangoura (“Nabyunissa”), 34, Tanziludin Bangurah (“Tanziludin”), 52, manufactured counterfeit oxycodone and Xanax in a laboratory in their residence in rural Pennsylvania, which they sold on the darkweb under the moniker “MonPham.”  Tanziludin and Franklin are the married parents of Nabyunissa.

In fall 2021, law enforcement identified “MonPham” as a prolific narcotics distributor operating on several darknet markets. After making numerous controlled purchases from “MonPham” between October 27, 2021, and August 25, 2022, law enforcement traced cryptocurrency transactions to the defendants’ Internet Protocol (IP) address. Law enforcement then observed Bangurah mailing fentanyl packages to customers and later observed one of the defendants with an infant child entering the residence.

While executing a search warrant on August 31, 2022, law enforcement discovered the trio’s drug lab, pills, binding agents, drug ledgers, and numerous electronic devices that contained hundreds of text messages between Nabyunissa and Franklin detailing the day-to-day operation of the conspiracy. Based on the drug ledgers, law enforcement determined the conspirators sold approximately 3,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills and approximately 55,000 counterfeit Xanax pills. In most cases, the counterfeit oxycodone pills contained fentanyl, while the counterfeit Xanax contained benzodiazepines.

Franklin, Nabyunissa, and Tanziludin each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Each faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 5. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; David J. Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office's Criminal and Cyber Division; George Scavdis, Special Agent in Charge, Food and Drug Administration Office of Criminal Investigations, Metro Washington Field Office; and Ajay Lall, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), made the announcement after Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony J. Trenga accepted the plea.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney for Powhatan County; USPIS – Philadelphia Division; Pennsylvania State Police; FBI Philadelphia Division – Scranton Resident Agency; and Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department assisted in the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Philip Alito and Gavin Tisdale are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:23-cr-121.

Contact
Press Officer
USAVAE.Press@usdoj.gov

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