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Man Speaking Farsi Tried For Plot to Import Afghan Drugs to NYC Sees Photos at Closing

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, May 15 – Malek Mohammad Balouchzehi is in trial for conspiracy to import narcotics into the US from Mozambique and elsewhere.  

     On May 11, 2023, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Jesse M. Furman was presiding over the trial in large courtroom 318 in 40 Foley Square. Inner City Press went and covered it. 

  Balouchzehi's CJA counsel from Quinn Emanuel was cross-examining the prosecution's phone and photo expert. It was established that while most photos taken by a phone were stored in the DCIM folder, other defaults can be set. 

  Over objections, Defense Exhibit 2C came in - the prosecutors had already introduced it. Summations should be Monday, May 15.

On May 12, the charge conference was held. Inner City Press was there. The defense wanted out the instruction about absent witnesses, saying they could not have called the Mozambique undercover, who was anonymous. The prosecution said they didn't try. Judge Furman to his credit docketed the draft charge - and the jury questionnaire.

The US closing on May 15 had a video of the defendant scrolling through photos of drugs - and the cans of tuna he allegedly shipped them in - on this phone. The quantities were astonishing: 500 kilos, $37 million. There were photos of the villa in Kenya where a meeting was held. By the afternoon, the lawyers waited in nearly empty courtroom 318.

The case is US v. Balouchzehi, 21-cr-658 (Furman)


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