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Five indicted on drug trafficking, money laundering charges

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A federal grand jury returned indictments following the recent bust of a drug trafficking and money laundering operation in West Tennessee.

For three years Jijad Hijazi, Christopher Heffernan, Nasseam Elkarra, Kenric West and Patrick O’Neal allegedly sent marijuana through the U.S. Mail and then distributed it a various locations including Memphis, Chattanooga and San Francisco.

The Department of Justice also claimed the defendants were involved in financial transactions in an effort to “commit drug trafficking.”

If convicted, the group could be sentenced up to 40 years for the drug conspiracy charge, five years for drug possession and 20 years for the money laundering charge.

Both O’Neal and West are from the Memphis area.