May 19, 2011
First, the Feds accused twenty-seven innocent Americans of supporting terrorism.
Federal agents dubbed the case “Operation Cedar Sweep,” zeroing in on South Florida head-shop owners of mostly Lebanese descent. Some were suspected of selling “cut” for cocaine and sending profits to the Middle East for possible terrorist activities.
But after a two-year FBI investigation with undercover police officers, Miami federal prosecutors lacked evidence to make terrorism support cases.
When that fell through, they accused them of supporting drug dealers.
Prosecutor Brian Frazier, who works in the U.S. attorney’s national security section, said in a court filing that the defendants at one head shop “supplied the needed ingredients and items in the belief that the undercover agent was a narcotics trafficker really engaged in the actual cocaine business.”
But defense attorneys countered that the prosecution’s cases were flawed because their clients didn’t break the law during the sting operations.
“They sold legal products that you can find at a GNC,” said Miami attorney Joseph Rosenbaum, who represented Khaled Nabil Ismail and Mohamad Ali Jawad, operators of a head shop at the 7th Avenue Flea Market. “No drugs were ever found on the premises. No crime was ever committed.”
Did the Feds apologize for falsely charging them? Will the Feds pay any price for terrorizing them with life in prison for over a year? Will they reimburse them for their pain, suffering or damage to their business?
Of course not, they wouldn’t even comment, and the only U.S. prosecutor who would says the case was probably dismissed because of “some greater national security interest.”
Yeah, sure. Being in government means never having to say you’re sorry.